When Demetrious Johnson was traded to ONE Championship last month, speculation began immediately that UFC was giving up on the flyweight division.
That now appears to be the case as a tweet from FloCombat as well as a video posted by now former UFC flyweight Jose “Shorty” Torres, confirms that the UFC 125 pound division is no more.
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
“Im the 1st to be let go.,” Torres said in a tweet. “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.”
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
The move brings UFC down to ten divisions, seven men’s and three women’s. Torres’ statement indicates that many of the flyweight men will not be given the opportunity to fight at bantamweight, and will be let go instead.
Meanwhile, (former?) UFC Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo’s fate remains uncertain. With no division for him to defend his title in, a unification bout of sorts with bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw may be next.
The UFC flyweight division was launched in 2012 with a four man tournament consisting of Johnson, Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez, and Yasuhiro Urushitani. Johnson and McCall fought to a draw in their semi-final bout. The bout was orginally declared a win for Johnson, but it was discovered there was an error tabulating the scorecards and a rematch occurred a few months later that Johnson won. Johnson went on to defeat Benavidez in a split decision at UFC 152 in Toronto to win the championship. He held the title, defending it 11 times, until losing to Cejudo this past August.
Johnson will be competing in a flyweight grand prix for his new home at ONE Championship next year.