UFC reportedly set to release a number of fighters and scrap the flyweight divison
When longtime UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson jumped ship and joined ONE Championship last week, many doubted the division's future.
It now seems that fans were right to doubt the division's future, despite the fact that Johnson was no longer champion when he left.
MMA media outlet, FloCombat reported last night that the men's flyweight division is to be totally dissolved by the end of 2018.
BREAKING: We're hearing the #UFC men's flyweight division is 100% being dissolved, likely done by the end of 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.
— FloCombat (@FloCombat) November 7, 2018
To add insult to injury, not all of the fighter's in the division are getting the chance to move up to bantamweight, instead many are set to be cut from the roster entirely.
The evidence of this rumour is already coming to light as Jose "Shorty" Torres took to Twitter to announce that he was the first fighter in the division to be 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 (@ShortyTorresMMA) November 7, 2018
Popular MMA journalist, Ariel Helwani shared some light on the situation as it currently stands. Helwani believes that the UFC will be releasing those 125lb fighter's who lost their last fight.
For those that are currently on a streak of any kind and have fights remaining, they are contractually obliged to let them move up a weight class.
If you’re coming off a loss at 125, it doesn’t look great. However, legally, if you’re coming off a win and have fights left on your contract UFC can’t release you. That’s why you’ll see some go up to 135 rather than leave (unless they really want to, I suppose).
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 7, 2018
Fans have been speculating about the future of the flyweight division for sometime now, long before Demetrius Johnson left the UFC. "Mighty Mouse" lost his title to Olympic Gold medallist, Henry Cejudo at UFC 227.
Cejudo previously had trouble making the 125lb limit and immediately challenged bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw following his title win, which added fuel to the fire that the division could be scrapped.
However, Cejudo's manager, Ali Abdelaziz told Ariel Helwani on his MMA show earlier this week that the Olympian was currently in a dispute with the UFC as they were trying to force him to move up in weight.
It would seem that the UFC's mind was made up once Demetrious Johnson lost the title in August.
The flyweight belt was introduced in 2012 as part of a four-man tournament involving Johnson, Yasuhiro Urishitani, Joseph Benavidez and the world’s No. 1 flyweight at the time, Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall.
Since it's introduction six years ago only Johnson and Cejudo have held the title.