Saturday’s UFC 255 card saw Deiveson Figueiredo make the first defense of his 125 pound strap with a stunning first round submission against the very game contender series graduate Alex Perez.
This amazing victory by the champion has led many people to say that this is the rebirth of the men’s flyweight division. This statement is backed by the fact that this is the first time that the 125 pound belt has been contested on pay-per-view since Henry Cejudo defeated Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227 which was the co-main event.
After the dominant champion in Mighty Mouse was dethroned many felt as though the flyweight division would be put on the chopping block, this was not the case as the new champ in Cejudo brought a new breath of air into a division so deprived of public attention and pay per view buys.
With his brash persona and his aspiration to be the GOAT and become a two weight world champion, there were a lot of new eyes on the division. This still did not appear to be enough to make the division a big draw as his first title defense which was a champ versus champ fight was only on fight night and not a pay-per view.
This would be the last time that the title would be contested for a while as Cejudo would move up and become the 135 pound champ putting the future of the division in doubt again.
When it was announced that the flyweight title would be back on the line when Deiveson Figueiredo would face off against Joseph Benavidez not many paid attention due to the history of the 125 pound weight class.
Even more problems arose when the now-champion missed weight meaning that only Benavidez providing he win could become champion. This also made people believe that the possible future champ wouldn’t even have much of a future in the division and adding to the pile of massive problems associated with the flyweight division.
Figueiredo would go on to win that fight by stoppage in the second round and then the two would face off again and he would win in similar style to finally become champion.
With a new champion in the division who always hunted for the finish, this put the division back on the map. This led Dana White to book his first defense against Alex Perez and make it the first title fight with someone who has come from the contender series so no matter the result this would lead to an exciting future for the division.
The champ would pass his first defense with flying colors and show the world that he is not just an excellent knockout artist by getting the submission win in the first round.
Dana White has now booked his second defense on 21 days notice, so now we can definitely say that the flyweight division has been reborn and is now one of the best divisions in the UFC.