The UFC men’s flyweight division has largely failed to gain traction since it formed in 2012, and now it looks as if the weight class won’t be a part of the promotion’s plans for 2019.
Multiple outlets are reporting that the UFC is going to bring down the curtain on men’s 125. Combate made note of this on Wednesday, while FloCombat adds that we may see some fighters on the flyweight roster just outright released instead of pushed up to bantamweight.
BREAKING: We're hearing the #UFC men's flyweight division is 100% being dissolved, likely done by the end of 2018.— FloCombat (@FloCombat) November 7, 2018
THE KICKER: Not all flyweights are being asked to move up to bantamweight. They're just getting cut. Unreal.
We'll update you as we receive more info.
Former Titan FC flyweight and bantamweight champion Jose “Shorty” Torres, who has had both of his UFC appearances at flyweight, has been released.
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
This is something that’s apparently been discussed by UFC brass dating back to last year, with then-champion Demetrious Johnson claiming that Dana White had threatened to get rid of the entire division if he didn’t accept a bout vs. T.J. Dillashaw.
Johnson in particular has not fared well as a pay-per-view draw, and the UFC has often put ranked flyweights on the preliminary card, sometimes on the Fight Pass portion of the prelims. They’ve long treated the division as an afterthought and essentially as card filler, now the hammer has seemingly dropped.
Flyweight bouts currently slated for the rest of 2018 include Joseph Morales vs. Eric Shelton (UFC Denver), Mark de la Rosa vs. Joby Sanchez (UFC Denver), Alexandre Pantoja vs. Ulka Sasaki (UFC Buenos Aires), Wilson Reis vs. Ben Nguyen (UFC Adelaide), and Kai Kara France vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian (UFC Adelaide).
As for current flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, he’s expected to challenge T.J. Dillashaw for the bantamweight title early next year.