Does Cejudo’s Dominant Win Over Dillashaw Revive the UFC Men’s Flyweight Division?

After UFC 227 when Henry Cejudo beat Demetrious Johnson in one of the greatest flyweight fights in the history of MMA.

It seemed like it brought new life to the flyweight division. After his loss, news sparked about how UFC traded Johnson for One Championship’s Ben Askren. All hope for a third fight between Johnson and Cejudo was lost, but even bigger news followed that.

Rumors went around about how UFC was considering getting rid of the flyweight division due to a lack of interest from fans. Even though it was rumored that the UFC was planning to close down the division, they still booked a flyweight main event to kick off their new deal with ESPN plus.  

Current UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw cut down to 125 pounds to potentially become a two division champion in the UFC. Dillashaw was a huge favorite heading into the fight, and it seemed like if Dillashaw won, the UFC would definitely put an end to the men’s flyweight division.

If the plan was to close down the division after Dillashaw won, Cejudo put a huge halt on those plans.

Cejudo dropped Dillashaw very early in round 1 and followed that up with some ground and pound.

Cejudo retained his flyweight title in only 32 seconds. It seemed like Cejudo saved the flyweight division, but in his post fight interview he made it clear he wasn’t sticking around at 125 pounds for his next fight.

Since the stoppage seemed early Cejudo said he wanted to rematch Dillashaw at 135 pounds. During the post fight press conference Dillashaw made it clear he wanted the rematch at 125, but if we do see this rematch it will most likely take place at 135 pounds. UFC President Dana White was asked what his plans were for the flyweight division, and he didn’t make it clear whether they’re going to leave the division open or close the division.

With Mighty Mouse fighting in One Championship, and Cejudo most likely moving up to bantamweight for his next fight it does hurt the division severely.
There’s just not enough attention given to the division, which will most likely result in the division closing. If Henry Cejudo does decide to fight at 125 for his next fight it gives a gleam of hope to the men’s flyweight division.
The clear number one contender at men’s flyweight is Joseph Benavidez. Benavidez fought Dustin Ortiz on the under card of Dillashaw vs Cejudo. Benavidez put on a strong performance and beat Dustin Ortiz via decision. Benavidez beat Cejudo when these two first squared off.
I think if the UFC gives these two a co-main event spot on PPV and they do a little more to promote this fight, it could help revive the flyweight division. Both Benavidez and Cejudo would have to pull their own weight in the promotion and help hype up this fight. 

Stephen Caloggero (@Stevie_calo)

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