The reigning champion of the UFC’s flyweight division, Henry Cejudo, has hinted that the weight-class might not be around for much longer.
When Cejudo managed to upset the odds by handing the longtime champion Demetrious Johnson his first career as a flyweight, who could ever have imagined that the former pound-for-pound number-1 would be part of a ground-breaking trade that would see him join up with Asian promotion ONE Championship.
With Johnson’s exit came some serious uncertainty over the future of the division. Dana White has been particularly vocal about his dissatisfaction with the 125lb-rs and their drawing ability in the past and has always reserved a certain level of disdain for its champion.
When Henry Cejudo managed to edge him out on the scorecards at UFC 227, he instantly made it clear that he was interested in a bantamweight clash with the divisional champion TJ Dillashaw.
Speaking on a recent edition of The Joe Rogan Experience, Cejudo explained how a showdown with Dillashaw could be used a springboard for himself to leave what is seemingly a sinking ship at 125lbs.
“I think more than likely that T.J. [Dillashaw] fight might happen. That T.J. fight might happen if they’re going to be done with the flyweight division. I think that cat’s out of the bag and Dana had mentioned that to me.
“He said, ‘Hey Cejudo, we’re going to take you up on that challenge for you to go up against T.J., but this is what the company has been thinking about for a while.
“I want to fight T.J. and I want to go after the next best thing, and I think that’s him. Let’s do it at ‘25 or let’s do it at ‘35, but let’s fight, man. I believe T.J. wants to fight me too.”
It does seem like an odd decision.
If the UFC do follow through with this, sure, the bantamweight division will be bolstered by several quality new additions but at the same time, you’ll have some of the flyweights whose skills will be nullified by the size difference to a certain extent – a factor that most guys usually have a choice in introducing as a challenge to their aspirations.
It’ll be a shame if it happens but with the way the sport is headed these days, do not be surprised if the 125lb division is dissolved at some point in the near future.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena