UFC reportedly scrapping men's flyweight division with some fighters already released

One of the main pieces of fallout that we all expected from the historic trade that saw former long-reigning flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson sent to ONE Championship in a "trade" for welterweight Ben Askren was the dissolution of the shallow men's flyweight division. It appears that will be the case, as Flo Combat is reporting that UFC will remove the division from existence before the end of the year. 

The report also stated that many of the fighters currently signed to the division would be cut rather than be allowed to move up to 135-pound bantamweight division. That aspect was confirmed shortly thereafter by one of the newest fighters signed to the division, Jose "Shorty" Torres. 

"The flyweight division is going," Torres said. "I did kind of call it. Sadly, because I called it and because I was publicly talking about it first, it probably was because of that [I was] first on the chopping block. So sadly, I am not a UFC fighter anymore, I am a free agent. You know, it's part of the sport. This stuff happens. Again, sadly we didn't pick up enough fanbase for the UFC. I appreciate every opportunity I was given.

"Sadly again, 29 days, two fights, 54 pounds to prepare for my last two opponents. Given my last fight wasn't the best and I won my first one by a 'lucky knockout,' I was on the chop block because of it. So, who wants to sign me? I'm looking for a fight."

Some conflicting information has emerged on the situation, however. MMA Junkie spoke to a few sources, one of which told them the division will not be dissolved and the roster is simply being trimmed, while another confirmed the reports of dissolution and said it's unclear whether fighters will immediately be released. 

The UFC flyweight division was formally introduced in 2011 following the merger of UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting. A four-man tournament was held in 2012, with Johnson emerging as the inaugural UFC flyweight champion with his victory over Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 that September. Johnson would go on to become one of the most successful champions in the history of mixed martial arts, defending the title a record 11 consecutive times before being defeated this past August at UFC 227 by Henry Cejudo. 

As for the reigning flyweight champion Cejudo, he obviously will be one of the competitors allowed to make the move to bantamweight, with it already being likely he'll face champion TJ Dillashaw at UFC 233 in Anaheim, California, on Jan. 26. 

Jack joined CBS Sports in 2018 as an editor and writer covering college football, combat sports and golf. He was raised to love the New York Yankees unconditionally since birth and firmly believes a four-team... Full Bio

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