Report: UFC to Dissolve Men’s Flyweight Division, ‘Shorty’ Torres and Brooks Released
Weeks after the groundbreaking “trade” that saw the UFC release the contractual rights of former #1 pound-for-pound ranked fighter and UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson to ONE FC in exchange for undefeated welterweight and former U.S. Olympian Ben Askren, more changes might just be on the way for the UFC’s flyweight division. MMA media outlet FloCombat took to twitter this afternoon to break the news:
BREAKING: We're hearing the #UFC men's flyweight division is 100% being dissolved, likely done by the end of 2018.
THE KICKER: Not all flyweights are being asked to move up to bantamweight. They're just getting cut. Unreal.
We'll update you as we receive more info.
— FloCombat (@FloCombat) November 7, 2018
Many began speculating once the UFC decided to release Johnson that it could mean the end of the UFC’s flyweight division as a whole. Even more vocal opinions surfaced when the UFC decided to book a bantamweight championship bout between TJ Dillashaw and current UFC Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo. Currently there are 35 active fighters in the UFC’s flyweight roster with 11 of them scheduled to compete sometime before the end of the year (four of which are scheduled for this weekend’s UFC Denver card). FloCombat’s report indicates that some athletes might be asked to move up to the bantamweight division while some might be just released altogether.
Former UFC flyweight Jose “Shorty” Torres took to twitter to confirm he had been let go by the promotion despite having two fights left on his current UFC contract. Torres also indicated that the organization plans to fold the division and only move up a select number of fighters.
Im the 1st to be let go. I didnt get to finish my UFC contract with 2 fights left because they are cutting most of my division n not giving some of us a chance to bump up n prove ourselves like myself. So now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. Good luck small guys! pic.twitter.com/lUMijsRoDm
— Jose Shorty Torres (@ShortyTorres125) November 7, 2018
Fellow UFC flyweight Jarred Brooks has also taken to social media to confirm he’s been released.
— Jarred Brooks (@The_monkeygod) November 7, 2018
It’s unclear at this point if more cuts are for sure to follow. If so, there might be a silver lining for some of these soon-to-be free agent flyweights. ONE FC recently announced plans for a flyweight tournament in 2019. Meanwhile, speculation among fans and media officials that Professional Fighters League will be doing a 2019 Flyweight tournament also appears to be circling the rumor mil.
#ONEChampionship announced a Flyweight and Lightweight tournament for 2019.
– Geje Eustaquio (11-6)
– Demetrious Johnson (27-3-1)
– Adriano Moraes (17-3)
– Gianni Subba (9-3)
– Kairat Akhmetov (25-2)
– Danny Kingad (10-1)
– Yuya Wakamatsu (10-3)
– Reece McLaren (12-5) pic.twitter.com/oIDDvLhUdV
— MaRCeL DoRFF 🇳🇱🇮🇩 (@BigMarcel24) November 7, 2018