Not so fast.
After speculation and near confirmation that UFC was planning on scrapping its flyweight division, a key fight has been made for the 125 pound title. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported early Friday morning that UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw would be moving down in weight to challenge Henry Cejudo for his flyweight title. The fight will take place at UFC 233 on Jan. 26 from Anaheim, Califronia.
This comes amid speculation that UFC had plans to dissolve its flyweight division. Rumors began when former longtime champion Demetrious Johnson was shipped to ONE Championship in exchange for Ben Askren. Jose “Shorty” Torres shared news this week that he had been released and that many other flyweights would be following him, seemingly confirming the end of they flyweight divison. FloCombat had also reported the dissolution of the division.
The booking of this fight does not necessarily confirm or deny these reports, but it does say that UFC plans to use men’s 125 for at least one more fight. The hope could be that Dillashaw wins the flyweight title, and moves back up to 135, giving UFC an opening to quietly (or not quietly) shutter the division.
Dillashaw began his second reign as bantamweight champion last year when he knocked out Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217 in New York City. He retained in a rematch in August of this year, UFC 227, the same event Cejudo captured the flyweight championship from Johnson.
Events headlined with flyweight fighters have struggled at nearly every measure from live ticket sales, to pay-per-view, to TV ratings. Johnson had been the only champion in the division until Cejudo took the crown this year.
Dillashaw vs. Cejudo is currently the top billed fight for UFC 233 although another main event quality fight could be added in the coming weeks.