Almost a year ago to the day, at the UFC 216 post-fight press conference, The Sports Post was one of the first MMA media outlets to publicly spark a conversation with UFC President Dana White about the idea of replacing the 170 pound Welterweight Division with a 165 pound and 175 pound weight class.
The talk of those proposed changes have taken place for a long time, with Joe Rogan being one of the most influential people within the MMA community to endorse the restructuring. Up until last week, although many fighters and MMA media members had ramped up these discussions, few had publicly challenged White’s opposition to the 165-pound division.
Nate Diaz got the internet and MMA community buzzing recently when he tweeted that his fight with Dustin Poirier, which has since been scrapped, would be for the inaugural 165-pound division. While no one really believed him, the tweet sparked the debate again. And the idea received overwhelmingly positive feedback.
During the UFC 229 press conference, Khabib and Conor were not present at the same time. This created some down time due to a lack of a confrontational dynamic between the competitors. In the absence of the typical smack talk, the MMA media in attendance was able to steer the conversation into other topics, 165 being one of them.
When a reporter asked the UFC Lightweight Champion his opinion on the matter, Dana White tried to cut him off before Khabib answered.
“I like this weight. I like this weight,” said Khabib. “Why not (have) 165 and 175? I think in the future, UFC is going to do these weights.”
When McGregor showed up more than 25 minutes late. He was asked the same question.
“I think it would benefit (us). We could help athletes in their weight cuts. I don’t think it’s the be all end all”, said McGregor, “I think when people are campaigning for these weight classes, they usually use a complaining tactic.”
Conor feels that with the right approach and the right representative to speak up for the issue, Dana White may eventually be open to consideration.
“I think you need to sit down and discuss all aspects of it. … we could sit down and figure it out and we could get to a solution. I am for it though; 165, 175, 185, 195 ..and see where we’re at. I think we can come to a solution that benefits everyone.
Will it happen?