UFC Flyweight Division Confirmed For Closure
By Dan McConnell
Yesterday it was being widely reported that the UFC flyweight division is set for closure with two former fighters announcing they have been released from their contracts. No official comment has been made from the UFC.
This uncertainty was created when the UFC struck a blockbuster trade with ONE Championship to trade their Flyweight king-pin Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson for unbeaten top contender welterweight Ben Askren, who has had his eye on the UFC for some time.
Former Titan Fc flyweight and bantamweight champion Jose ‘Shorty’ Torres was the first to announce his release from the UFC. He announced the news Wednesday on his Twitter account, saying that he was no longer with the UFC and he’s one of the first to be released in regards to the disbanding the entire flyweight division. A man who Torres faced in his UFC debut, Jarred Brooks also took to twitter to announce his unfortunate release.
The UFC’s Ultimate Fighter series 24 was a last-ditch attempt to breed new life into the division. Fighters like winner Tim Elliot, Brandon Moreno, Eric Shelton and Alexandre Pantoja have offered new blood but all could be asked to move up to bantamweight, which is usually a 125 pounder natural weight-class. Mighty Mouse’ refusal to face bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw caused tension between the fighter and President Dana White, ultimately this added to the speculation that Dana wanted to close the men’s 125-pound flyweight division.
Newly crowned flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo is expected to face off against bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw in a super-fight to merge the two belts. Fighters like Ray Borg, Joseph Benavidez, Sergio Pettis, Wilson Reis, Luis Smolka and Deiveson Figueiredo will all be expected to be given a chance at the 135-pound division. The rest may not make the cut and look to follow Mighty Mouse to ONE Championship or another promotion.