In 2018, several reports about the shut down of the entire UFC flyweight division came to light. But all of that talk dissipated when Henry Cejudo stepped into the picture.
UFC president Dana White himself ended these talks when Cejudo became a two-division champion after UFC 238 in June. These developments had actually caught the attention of Chael Sonnen, who put all the other 125-pounders on blast in a recent YouTube video he uploaded.
“One thing at 125 pounds - and it does surprise me and it does disappoint me and it even infuriates me - listen, that division was almost cut,” Sonnen said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “That division was almost gone. And I’m not speaking out of school, that was very public and well-known. Henry saved the division. Henry Cejudo brought something new where they said ‘You know what? We’re going to keep it around. We’re gonna keep this guy here and we’re gonna see if he can drive it into the future.’
“The rest of the 125 pounders were so thankful. The holidays were saved, their careers were saved. [But they] did not apparently learn a single god damn lesson from it almost being taken away from them.”
For Sonnen, the rest of the flyweights should be making the same noise as the champion to bring more attention to the division.
“Aside from Henry Cejudo, not one of the guys in the back who thought their contracts were going to go away because of lack of interest in the division have done a god damn thing to be interesting,” he said. “Not one them and it is infuriating to me. As much as they all wanted to cry into their beer when they were going to get cut — and I would take no pleasure in somebody having their opportunity taken from them, none — but you would certainly think that would serve as a wake-up call. A major wakeup call [that] something has to be done different.
“‘Oh my gosh, here’s Henry Cejudo. Oh my gosh, this guy looks like a fool, a jester. This guy’s coming on stage with fake snakes and snapping them down. Oh my gosh, this guy just saved an entire division? He just saved the jobs of 56 strangers who happen to be in the same weight class with the same goals as him? Wow. Maybe I should learn something.’”