If you talk to most hardcore fans, chances are the majority of them will tell you that they love watching flyweights throw down, due to the ridiculous speed and skills they have. More than a few would likely credit UFC champ Demetrious Johnson for being one of the planet’s best pound-for-pound fighters. If you asked a mainstream, ‘I love ultimate fighting’ fan about flyweights, however, there’s a good chance you’d be met with a blank stare. Yes, therein lies the problem.
Of course, for some time now, there’s been widespread debate throughout MMA as to whether the flyweight division is registering with casual fans. Some have floated the argument that 125’ers don’t finish enough fights, and thus, casual fans haven’t become invested in the division. If that’s true, well, then clearly these people aren’t watching enough flyweight scraps. There are plenty of memorable stoppages to go around.
Well, at UFC FN 56 on November 8th, there is a pretty, pretty big flyweight bout scheduled, between fellow contenders Ian McCall and John Lineker. If you’re a die hard fan, then you’re probably stoked to see the fight, but according to McCall, he hasn’t felt much buzz.
The veteran fighter recently appeared on “The MMA Hour”, and a frustrated McCall argued “no one really gives a s**t about us”. The #3 ranked flyweight also offered several theories as to why that is, and reportedly stated the following about Johnson (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“I don’t mean to pick on him, but it does (fall on him),” McCall said. “The guy has the personality of my coffee mug. Actually, my coffee mug has more personality because it’s a Joe Rogan coffee mug, so never mind. He doesn’t do his job as far as marketing.
“We all know, he’s awesome, he does great, he improves and whatever, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But this is entertainment. This is the entertainment business, and as a whole, the flyweight division, apparently we’re not doing enough, so I’m just going to take it upon myself to beat the crap out of everybody, become champion, and then just start talking s**t like Conor McGregor and causing trouble. You never know, I might get a DUI. Who knows. I’m going to do whatever I can to make money and to get the little people some publicity.”
Now Johnson’s supporters will likely take issue with McCall’s statements, as even before the UFC introduced the division, there was debate as to whether it might take a while for fans to catch on. These things take time, and considering the amount of events that are being promoted these days, it’s no wonder the top tier flyweights have gotten lost in the mix.
If Johnson was more McGregor-ish, then sure, more people would likely be tuning in. But perhaps “Mighty Mouse” will start throwing out some verbal shots McCall’s way, considering these latest comments?
UFC FN 56 will go down in Uberlandia, Brazil and will feature “Shogun” Rua taking in Jimi Manuwa in the main event.