Demetrious Johnson Says It’s ‘Unfortunate’ If the UFC Dumps the Flyweight Division
Demetrious Johnson is ready to embark on a new journey in his career as he joins the roster at ONE Championship after spending more than eight years in the UFC and WEC.
While the UFC is no longer his concern, Johnson has heard the rumblings that his exit may serve as a signal that his old employers are considering dumping the flyweight division.
There have been rumors for more than two years that the UFC was contemplating the end of the 125-pound men’s division. Johnson ruled the flyweight division with an iron fist since its inception and he was barely touched over the past five years until he fell to Henry Cejudo by split decision in August.
Add to that, Cejudo has been rumored for a move to bantamweight to take on current 135-pound champion T.J. Dillashaw in early 2019.
That all seems like bad news for the flyweight division in the UFC and even though Johnson is already gone, he still hopes the UFC will reconsider if they truly are thinking about getting rid of the weight class.
“I think it’s unfortunate,” Johnson said when asked about the UFC possibly putting an end to the 125-pound weight class. “I think the flyweight division in North America and the UFC is a fantastic division. I think as me being an athlete and a martial artist, it’s not always about does this division make money? I think they should keep that division, my personal opinion.
“They have a new champion, a lot of fresh new matchups, they can work it out.”
If the UFC does decide to axe the flyweight division, the fighters currently competing at 125 pounds might only be left with a couple of potential options.
Those athletes could test the waters at 135 pounds and hope bantamweight gives them a long term home or they might ask to leave the UFC and potentially join Johnson in his new venture as part of ONE Championship.
Johnson can’t speak for anybody else nor would he attempt to recruit anybody from the UFC to come to ONE Championship but he definitely feels like that’s one place where the flyweights would find a good home.
“I truly believe ONE Championship is probably the best one for all those guys because it embodies martial artists,” Johnson said.
It remains to be seen what the UFC will do with the flyweights but time will tell if the division will grow or die in Johnson’s absence.