The UFC recently traded away arguably the greatest fighter to ever step foot in the Octagon in Demetrious Johnson. In the UFC, Johnson always struggled to catch on with fight fans, as has the flyweight division he ruled for so long. Like many others, current UFC flyweight Jose Torres sees Demetrious Johnson’s departure as a bad sign for the flyweight division, and isn’t sure what the future holds.
“The UFC flyweight division, honestly, hasn’t been very notable, and [Johnson] was the best thing we had to offer,” Torres said on his YouTube channel. “When we look at the bigger picture here, we had the best pound-for-pound champion in the UFC’s history, and even then Dana White wanted to close – or at least threatened to close – the division. What’s it mean for us now that he’s gone?”
It obviously isn’t looking good and Torres knows that. The future is uncertain and Torres raises a good point. Henry Cejudo could easily go up and challenge T.J. Dillashaw for the bantamweight belt, and once that fight happens, it could well mean the end of the flyweight division. What the UFC will do with all its flyweight fighters is another question, though.
“I know flyweights are scheduled for November, and even December, but is anyone scheduled to fight in January, February, or overall in the year 2019?” Jose Torres queried. “That, I don’t know. I don’t have a fight yet, and I’m still waiting. But I’m lucky because I was a two-weight-class champion in Titan FC. I fought at ’25 and ’35 and even defended both belts, but does that matter to the UFC? I have no clue. They can keep me or cut me if they cut the flyweight division. That’s all their choice.”
While flyweight fights have rarely generated much buzz among fans, part of the blame may rest on the UFC’s shoulders, as Johnson repeatedly claimed the promotion didn’t promote him or his division effectively. True or not, with Johnson gone, it will take even more eyeballs off the flyweight division and Jose Torres knows that.
“With a new champion that doesn’t even want to defend the belt and honestly with the fans not knowing any other flyweight besides Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo and maybe Sergio Pettis, honestly, it doesn’t look good for us,” he said. “Now again, this is all under speculation, all opinion-based rumors from what I’ve heard. Nothing has been confirmed. … This is just me looking at the bigger picture from a business standpoint.”
What do you think the future holds for Jose Torres and the UFC flyweight division?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/2/2018.