Although Henry Cejudo defended the flyweight title at UFC Brooklyn in shocking fashion, the decorated fighter isn’t optimistic about the future of the UFC’s 125 division.
Heading into Cejudo’s bout with bantamweight champ, T.J. Dillashaw, the consensus was that if he got by the renowned fighter, it might resurrect the flyweight bracket. For months now, there’s been speculation that the UFC is planning to ax the flyweight division, despite calls from hardcore fans and flyweight fighters to keep it. If Dillashaw secured the 125 crown, the belief was that the UFC would promptly shut down the division, and have the bantamweight champ focus on the 135 title.
“If you look at 125 right now, they just cut Dustin Ortiz,” Cejudo said. “This guy just had what could have been a split decision win to (Joseph) Benavidez. These are the top guys in the world. You’re going to cut the No. 3 or No. 4 guy in the world? That just tells you where these guys’ heads are at. It’s unfortunate. I’m trying to do my best, but at the same time I’m not going to have a belt with nobody in my weight class. You got rid of Ortiz, you got rid of Matheus Nicolau, these great guys. I don’t know who else they got rid of. There’s probably only about 10 of us left. So it sucks, it’s scary.”
“…I’m doing my job, I’m fighting for the flyweight division. I said it. I tried to do a negotiation deal with Dana White on national television. He wouldn’t do it. I think that’s a question you would have to ask the boss and his people. I feel like I resurrected this division. I speak three languages, I’m pretty handsome myself. I’m aight.”
So, ya, if Ortiz has also indeed been cut, then you really have to wonder how long the UFC’s 125 division is going to be around for. Ortiz had won three in a row before facing Benavidez last month. Although, as this is being written, there’s no mention of Ortiz being released on his Twitter feed. He’s also still ranked at the UFC site, and is currently sitting at #8.
Ortiz aside, the fact Cejudo still hasn’t heard from the UFC brass that, yes, he’s going to be defending the 125 title at some juncture, also seems to be a bad sign for the flyweight bracket. Especially when you consider that Cejudo has now defeated two of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.