Denver, Colorado, the site of UFC 1 on November 12, 1993. A historic night that first launched the UFC into the public eye 25 years ago. This past Saturday the UFC celebrated its 25th anniversary by going back to the “Mile High City” for Fight Night 139. However, what may be lost in the celebration of the promotion, is the fact that the three round bout between Ray Borg and Joseph Benavidez may be both fighters last fight at the 125 pound Flyweight Division. Regardless of the results of this fight, even if a fight of the night bonus was received, the future of the Flyweight division is in turmoil.
Flyweight has never been an overly attractive division within the UFC, partly due to the immense success from former Champion, Demtrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, cleaning out the division from top to bottom before eventually falling to the current Flyweight Champ, Henry Cejudo. Since the culmination of the Flyweight Championship, the division has been a hot topic discussion because of two key events; the UFC seemingly pushing a super fight between Cejudo and 135 pound champion, TJ Dillashaw. As well as the monumental trade that sent Demetrious Johnson to ONE Championship in exchange for their current Welterweight Champion, Ben Askren. Within three months the entire dynamic of the Flyweight division has changed with its former champion in another promotion and the current champ with his eyes on becoming a two division champion by adding a Bantamweight title.
The writing seems to be on the wall and an announcement of a super fight involving the current Flyweight Champion would ultimately be the kiss of death for the 125 pound division. Terminating Flyweight would ultimately result in the current UFC Flyweights moving up a weight class to 135, strengthening a division that already boasts the likes of Dominick Cruz, Cody Garbrandt and Raphael Assuncao. While the Flyweight Division may be closing, the memories of dominance from Mighty Mouse, the flair from Sergio Pettis, and the determination from Henry Cejudo are very fond. The “Mile High City”, the birthplace of the UFC and potentially the final resting ground for a division that saw 11 title defenses since 2012 by one man.