UFC: Flyweight Division Running On Fumes
There are critics of the flyweight division and then there are those who believe the division is a great addition to the UFC. What no one can dispute is the lack of challengers for the title.
Since the flyweight division was integrated into the UFC, there have been two individuals who have dominated the division, Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez. A third person poised to be in that discussion is John Dodson, and then there is everyone else.
Benavidez and Dodson both got their opportunity to take the title away from Johnson and both fell short. Then matchmakers decided to give John Moraga a chance, who was too green against elite competition to stand a chance.
Ian McCall was supposed to be another factor at flyweight, but he lost to Johnson and Benavidez as well. Who does that leave besides the big three (Dodson, Johnson and Benavidez) to challenge for the title? No one.
Benavidez, the person who has come closest to beating Johnson, will get a second try at Mighty Mouse in the TUF 18 Finale on Nov. 30. Once that fight is done, it will be back to the drawing board for matchmakers.
The UFC currently has John Lineker ranked fifth in the standings, and he has an upcoming bout against the unranked Phil Harris on Oct. 26. If he wins that fight, he will be on a four-fight win streak and in prime position to fight Johnson for the title if the UFC so chooses.
Then there is Jussier Formiga and Tim Elliott ranked sixth and seventh, respectively. Formiga has already been beaten by Dodson and Benavidez by first and second round knockout.
Elliott lost to Dodson early in 2012 by decision, and since then he has beaten Jared Papazian and Louis Gaudinot. He will fight Ali Bagautinov on Nov. 16.
Fact is the UFC needs to build stars in the division or go recruiting for them. The UFC made a good decision by bringing in Darrell Montague to fight Dodson. Montague has only lost two fights in his career and one was to McCall.
If the UFC doesn’t make more moves like this or start promoting the flyweights more, the division could begin to run out of gas and TV time.
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