It wasn’t too long ago that the UFC announced their intentions to start flyweight division, and with the announcement came vivid imaginations of a vast and great flyweight division that would upgrade the quality of all the UFC cards.
Seven events into the inclusion of the flyweights and that idea of a perfect division is nothing but a façade.
Any person that just recently started watching the UFC probably wouldn’t even realize that there was a division that featured men that weighed less than the average teenager. In fact, only two of those seven shows have featured flyweight fights, and as of today there are only ten flyweights in the UFC.
If the UFC’s goal was to legitimize the 125 pound weight class as one that features fighters who could potentially be marquee attractions to PPV events, then consider that goal a failure, at least for now.
Ask an average MMA fan to name all the flyweights they know that are in the UFC, and the reply you’ll probably get is “Joseph Benavidez, Mighty Mouse, The Creepy Guy, and that one Japanese fighter that lost to Benavidez.”
That response is a testament to how poorly the flyweight division has been introduced with the normal UFC viewing audience (aka not us).
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a total apocalyptic scenario, there have been some strides to properly introduce the flyweights, most notably the four man tournament to crown the division’s inaugural champion, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the flyweight division appears to be the red headed step child of the UFC.
The UFC’s approach to cultivate the flyweight class has been a passive one to say the least. Thus far there have been plenty of opportunities to put on flyweight bouts, especially on FUEL TV, but those spots have been filled with bottom feeders in other weight classes facing one another.
A weight class that is barely in its infancy needs a strong start in order for it to prosper in the future, and the flyweight division hasn’t gotten the consistency that it deserves.
That fight is the main event of a FX show, a show that would have been the perfect platform to introduce potential challengers for the championship, but apparently not perfect enough for Joe Silva and co as the main event is the only flyweight bout on the entire show.
There really is no good reason for the passive approach the UFC has taken to introduce their newest division because there is plenty of talent that still hasn’t been tapped.
Even if you take out all of the fighters that could possibly be held back due to contract obligations to Tachi Palace Fights such as Jussier da Silva, Mamoru Yamaguchi, and Darrell Montague, there are still plenty of talented fighters with charisma that could be signed such as Alexis Vila, Josh Robinson, and Roy Docyogen.
The talent pool is there for the UFC to make a credible and marketable flyweight division, and if they give the flyweight division the attention that it needs then the vivid imaginations we once had for UFC’s newest division may actually become reality.