Writing still appears to be on the wall for the UFC’s flyweight division, and longtime contender, Dustin Ortiz, is understandably disappointed some of his colleagues don’t appear to care.
For several months now there’s been speculation that the UFC is going to shut down the promotion’s 125 division. But, after flyweight champ Henry Cejudo quickly took out T.J. Dillashaw last month, there was some talk his performance might have saved the division.
Well, fast forward to today, and we still haven’t had heard what’s next for Cejudo, and UFC President Dana White hasn’t confirmed the 125 division is staying. Further, recently Ortiz confirmed that he’s now a free agent, and for many that’s a sign the bracket is indeed going to be shuttered.
Ortiz confirmed the news regarding his free agency to MMA Junkie, and in addition, the perennial contender said this:
“I truly believe that they’re letting guys fight out their contract. They come off a loss, they’re going to release them from their contract and just kind of do away with it and make an announcement that Henry is moving up to 135 and there will no longer be any (flyweight) fights in the UFC. That’ll be it. It’s pretty disheartening for all the fighters that have fought and put everything into this sport just to be done away with so effortlessly.”
“…The whole thing is disappointing on how they’re going about it. You have other fighters in other weight classes in the UFC, they don’t even care. That’s even more disheartening that we have people in the same company in the same industry that loves to do what you do and have that same passion, and could care less if you fight or not. It’s a dog-eat-dog business, and that’s how it goes. It’s not life or death. This is the job.”
Now, just because Ortiz hasn’t been resigned by the UFC, doesn’t mean the promotion’s going to cut the flyweight division for sure. But one could certainly see it as a clear signal that’s going to happen. After all, Ortiz has long been one of the division’s best, and before his decision loss to Joseph Benavidez last month, he had won three in a row. Two of which were via knockout. So, you would think the UFC would want to keep Ortiz around if the division was remaining.
And you certainly can’t fault Ortiz for his comments about the lack of public support the division’s received from his fellow fighters. Some fighters have relayed they don’t want to see the bracket shut down. But there really hasn’t been much of a campaign from the rest of the roster to save it.