Welterweight Term Explained: MMA Glossary

Confused about the meaning of Welterweight? Here’s a quick answer:

Welterweight is a weight class in MMA that typically encompasses fighters weighing between 156 and 170 pounds. These athletes possess a balanced blend of speed, power, and technique, making welterweight one of the most competitive divisions in the sport.

Still unsure or want to know more? Keep reading.

History and Evolution

The welterweight division in MMA has a rich history and has undergone various changes over the years.

Originally, there were no specific weight classes in the early days of the sport, with fighters of all sizes competing against each other. However, as the sport grew in popularity and professionalism, the need for weight divisions became apparent.

The welterweight division was officially established in the late 1990s, to create a fair playing field for fighters in the range of 156 to 170 pounds.

This weight class filled the gap between lightweight (155 pounds and below) and middleweight (171 to 185 pounds), providing an opportunity for fighters who were not quite big enough for middleweight but too large for lightweight.

Famous Welterweights

Throughout the history of MMA, there have been several welterweight fighters who have left an indelible mark on the division.

One such example is Georges St-Pierre, often referred to as GSP. St-Pierre is widely regarded as one of the greatest welterweight fighters of all time.

His dominance in the division, combined with his exceptional wrestling and striking skills, propelled him to become a two-time UFC welterweight champion.

GSP’s technical prowess and ability to adapt to different opponents made him a formidable force in the welterweight division for many years.

Another notable welterweight fighter is Matt Hughes, who held the UFC welterweight title for a record-breaking seven times. Hughes was known for his tremendous strength and powerful grappling, earning him a reputation as one of the most dominant welterweights in MMA history.

Notable Events

UFC 40: Vendetta

One of the most significant welterweight bouts in MMA history took place at UFC 40: Vendetta. Matt Hughes faced off against the legendary Carlos Newton for the UFC welterweight championship.

In a stunning turn of events, Hughes secured a victory by slamming Newton unconscious, solidifying his place as a force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division.

UFC 158: St-Pierre vs. Diaz

In 2013, Georges St-Pierre defended his welterweight title against Nick Diaz in a highly anticipated fight at UFC 158. This event showcased the technical skills and striking abilities of both fighters.

St-Pierre ultimately emerged victorious, further establishing his legacy as one of the greatest welterweights in MMA history.


The welterweight division in MMA has consistently provided fans with thrilling matchups and fierce competition.

Fighters in this weight class possess a unique combination of speed, power, and technique, making it one of the most exciting divisions to watch.

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With legends like Georges St-Pierre and Matt Hughes paving the way, the welterweight division continues to be a cornerstone of the sport of MMA.