The short-lived flyweight division in UFC appears to be no more … as expected
One of the main pieces of fallout that we all expected from the historic trade that saw former long-reigning flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson sent to ONE Championship in a “trade” for welterweight Ben Askren was the dissolution of the shallow men’s flyweight division. It appears that will be the case, as Flo Combat is reporting that UFC will remove the division from existence before the end of the year.
The report also stated that many of the fighters currently signed to the division would be cut rather than be allowed to move up to 135-pound bantamweight division. That aspect was confirmed shortly thereafter by one of the newest fighters signed to the division, Jose “Shorty” Torres.
Im the 1st to be let go. I didnt get to finish my UFC contract with 2 fights left because they are cutting most of my division n not giving some of us a chance to bump up n prove ourselves like myself. So now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. Good luck small guys! pic.twitter.com/lUMijsRoDm
— Jose Shorty Torres (@ShortyTorres125) November 7, 2018
“The flyweight division is going,” Torres said. “I did kind of call it. Sadly, because I called it and because I was publicly talking about it first, it probably was because of that [I was] first on the chopping block. So sadly, I am not a UFC fighter anymore, I am a free agent. You know, it’s part of the sport. This stuff happens. Again, sadly we didn’t pick up enough fanbase for the UFC. I appreciate every opportunity I was given.
“Sadly again, 29 days, two fights, 54 pounds to prepare for my last two opponents. Given my last fight wasn’t the best and I won my first one by a ‘lucky knockout,’ I was on the chop block because of it. So, who wants to sign me? I’m looking for a fight.”
The UFC flyweight division was formally introduced in 2011 following the merger of UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting. A four-man tournament was held in 2012, with Johnson emerging as the inaugural UFC flyweight champion with his victory over Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 that September. Johnson would go on to become one of the most successful champions in the history of mixed martial arts, defending the title a record 11 consecutive times before being defeated this past August at UFC 227 by Henry Cejudo.
As for the reigning flyweight champion Cejudo, he obviously will be one of the competitors allowed to make the move to bantamweight, with it already being likely he’ll face champion TJ Dillashaw at UFC 233 in Anaheim, California, on Jan. 26.