While numerous UFC flyweights have been handed their walking papers of late, Joseph Benavidez has a shiny new deal in the 125lb division.
Don’t look now, but the flyweight division may have some life left in it. May have. Despite multiple flyweights being cut from the UFC of late (some even being told the 125lb division was going the way of the Dodo), top 125lb’er Joseph Benavidez has signed a new deal with the promotion. At flyweight.
MMA Junkie reported the development on Wednesday. Benavidez himself addressed the situation at a media day ahead of UFC Brooklyn. That card features a flyweight champ vs. champ bout, between 125lb champ Henry Cejudo and bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. “I think everything really chilled out once they got that fight, because it’s steady, and we can’t really do anything in the division until after this fight,” Benavidez said. “Business as usual until you hear otherwise.”
UFC President Dana White has also been non-committal about the division’s future recently.
Word of the division’s demise arose when long-time champ and all-time great candidate Demetrious Johnson was traded to ONE Championship in exchange for welterweight Ben Askren. With names like Shorty Torres and Ben Nguyen along with others cut soon after, it appeared flyweight’s days were numbered.
That may no longer be the case. The UFC could opt to push forward with the division, albeit with a smaller roster. There’s always the option to have Benavidez move up in weight at a later date, though he has said that was not discussed.