Although Dana White wouldn’t outright confirm it yet, there have been reports that the UFC is getting rid of the 125 lb division for a while now. Multiple flyweights have already been released, and it looks more like a formality at this point.
Josh Thomson recently took to twitter, and went further by saying that the UFC will be replacing flyweight with a new 165 lb division. The former Strikeforce champ and UFC contender said this is the information he got from UFC executives.
125 weight class is done after @TJDillashaw VS @HenryCejudo from all the @ufc executives I've talk to. 165lb weight class is replacing it https://t.co/TtloqSgvng— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) December 1, 2018
Thomson also expounded on this a little during his Sammy and the Punk podcast.
“I think it would be smart for the UFC to do it,” Thomson said. “And from what I have talked to some people that are with the UFC, they said ‘Yes, we’ve been talking about it. Yes, it pretty much sounds like it’s going to happen.’
“Part of that is getting rid of the 125 lb weight class and (adding) 165 lbs, where they have a plethora of exciting fighters.”
It didn’t take long for potential fighters in the division to repost and react to Thomson’s report. This included Ben Askren, who called for a title bout at 165 lbs against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Interestingly enough, this Instagram post is also where White decided to issue a denial.
The UFC president took to the comments section of Askren’s post, and typed “Not true.”
Thomson stuck to his report, and he and Askren were quick to point out that White has been less than truthful many times in the past.
Cmon who are you more likely to believe https://t.co/TKinpp5IHl— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 3, 2018
Cuz we know @danawhite always tells the truth. "@Anthony_Rumble will never fight in @ufc again" 2 years later signs him to huge pay ease and multi fight deal. I could go on but you get the point. https://t.co/eOcyrHNqPj— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) December 3, 2018
My personal favorite was that drug testing is impossible. https://t.co/YnuPjZ9YR4— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 4, 2018
Adding a 165 lb division and moving welterweight to 175 lbs would mean closer, more uniform, ten pound separations from 125 up to 185 lbs. The talent pool would be able to support it, it opens up more options for super-fights, and it adds another potentially marketable UFC champion on the roster.
It has always been a smart move to make for the UFC, so if it’s true, it’s certainly a welcome addition. I just wish they didn’t have to axe another division in the process.