The flyweight division was the last of boxing's eight traditional weight classes to be established. Before 1909, anyone below featherweight was considered a bantamweight, regardless of how small the boxer. In 1911, the organization that eventually became the British Boxing Board of Control held a match that crowned Sid Smith as the first flyweight champion of the world. Jimmy Wilde, who reigned from 1914 to 1923, was the first fighter recognized both in Britain and the United States as a flyweight champion.
Other notable flyweights include Pancho Villa, Walter McGowan, Pascual Pérez, Pone Kingpetch, Fighting Harada, Masao Ohba, Chartchai Chionoi, Efren Torres, Erbito Salavarria, Miguel Canto, Dave McAuley, Charlie Magri, Gabriel Bernal, Santos Laciar, Sot Chitalada, Yong-Kang Kim, Yuri Arbachakov, Danny Romero, Mark "Too Sharp" Johnson, Manny Pacquiao, Jorge Arce, Vic Darchinyan, Nonito Donaire, Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Amnat Ruenroeng, Román González, McWilliams Arroyo, Donnie Nietes and Nicola Adams.
|Sanctioning Body||Reign Began||Champion||Record||Defenses|
|WBA||February 24, 2018||Artem Dalakian||19–0–0 (14 KO)||3|
|WBC||December 20, 2019||Julio Cesar Martinez||15–1–0 (12 KO)||0|
|IBF||July 15, 2018||Moruti Mthalane||39–2–0 (26 KO)||3|
|WBO||September 24, 2018||Kosei Tanaka||15–0–0 (9 KO)||3|
Longest reigning flyweight champions
Below is a list of longest reigning flyweight champions in boxing measured by the individual's longest reign. Career total time as champion ( for multiple time champions) does not apply.
|Name||Title reign||Title recognition||Successful defenses|
|1.||Omar Andres Narvaez||7 years, 10 months||WBO||16|
|2.||Jimmy Wilde||7 years, 4 months, 4 days||World||5|
|3.||Pongsaklek Wonjongkam||6 years, 4 months, 16 days||WBC||17|
|4.||Irene Pacheco||5 years, 8 months, 6 days||IBF||6|
|5.||Pascual Perez||5 years, 4 months, 20 days||World||16|
|6.||Yuri Arbachakov||5 years, 4 months, 19 days||WBC||9|
|7.||Miguel Canto||4 years, 2 months, 10 days||WBC||14|
|8.||Moruti Mthalane||4 years, 1 month, 23 days||IBF||4|
|9.||Jackie Paterson||4 years, 1 month, 12 days||NBA||N/A|
|10.||Sot Chitalada||3 years, 9 months, 16 days||WBC||6|
In kickboxing, a flyweight fighter generally weighs 53 kg (116 lb) or under. The International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) Flyweight division (professional and amateur) is 112.1 lbs. – 117 lbs. or 50.95 kg – 53.18 kg.
Mixed Martial Arts
The flyweight division in mixed martial arts – as defined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission combat sports doctrine and by the Association of Boxing Commissions – groups together all competitors 125 lb (57 kg) and below. It sits between Strawweight (106 lbs-115 lbs) and Bantamweight (126 lbs-135lbs).
The flyweight division in mixed martial arts refers to a number of different weight classes:
- The UFC's flyweight division, which groups competitors within 116 to 125 lb (53 to 57 kg)
- The Pancrase light flyweight division with an upper limit of 120 lb
- The Shooto flyweight division with an upper limit of 115 lb
- The ONE Championship's flyweight division, with upper limit at 61 kg (134.5 lb)
- The Road FC's flyweight division, with upper limit at 125 lb (57 kg)
On February 3, 2009, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) announced they would be adding a flyweight division set at 125 lb, however the division was never instituted. When the UFC and WEC merged, UFC president Dana White indicated that the Ultimate Fighting Championship would likely add a flyweight division in the future. The UFC flyweight division was officially announced in 2011; with the inaugural champion being decided by way of a four-man tournament that began with the semifinal round held at the UFC on FX 2 event in Sydney Australia on March 2, 2012. Joseph Benavidez won his semi-final at UFC on FX 2 while Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall fought to a draw. Johnson and McCall rematched at UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall on June 8, 2012 with Johnson advancing. Johnson won the first UFC flyweight championship with his win over Benavidez at UFC 152.
These tables are not always up to date. Last updated on February 28, 2020.
|UFC||December 19, 2019||Vacant||N/A||N/A|
|ONE Championship||June 23, 2018||Geje Eustaquio||11-6 (2KO 2SUB)||0|
|Fight Nights Global||August 31, 2018||Zhalgas Zhumagulov||12-3-0 (7TKO 2SUB)||0|
|Legacy Fighting Alliance||April 20, 2018||Maikel Pérez||6-1 (1KO 3SUB)||0|
|UFC||December 8, 2018||Valentina Shevchenko||19-3 (6KO 7SUB)||3|
|Bellator MMA||November 3, 2017||Ilima-Lei Macfarlane||8-0 (1KO 5SUB)||1|
|KSW||May 27, 2017||Ariane Lipski||11-3 (6KO 2SUB)||2|
|Legacy Fighting Alliance||May 27, 2017||Sabina Mazo||5-0 (2KO)||0|
- List of current MMA Flyweight Champions
- List of Road FC Flyweight Champions
- List of current MMA Women's Flyweight Champions
- http://www.aiba.org/documents/site1/Articles%20&%20Rules/technical_and_competition_rules_20111025.pdf Technical & Competition Rules, Appendix K AIBA
- Mullan, Harry (1996). Boxing: The Definitive Illustrated Guide to World Boxing. London, England: Carlton Books. p. 186. ISBN 0-7858-0641-5.
- "Nevada Revised Statutes: Chapter 467 - Unarmed Combat". leg.state.nv.us. Retrieved 2007-02-20.
- "Unified Rules of MMA". ABCBoxing.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- Nelson, Chris (2010-07-19). "'The Way of Shooto 4' Quick Results". BloodyElbow.com. Retrieved 2012-03-19.
- "WEC's long-awaited 125-pound weight class likely to come in early 2010". 2009-08-07.
- "Dana White announces merger between UFC and WEC". Las Vegas Sun. 2010-10-28.
- "UFC adds flyweights: Johnson vs. McCall, Benavidez vs. Urushitani at UFC on FX 2". MMAJunkie.com. 2011-12-11. Archived from the original on 2012-01-07.
- MMAjunkie UFC Champ Demetrious Johnson critical of striking. retrieved 25 September 2012