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Demetrious Johnson: Don’t expect ONE Championship to sign everyone if UFC’s flyweight division goes under

UFC 227: Johnson v Cejudo 2 Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The state of Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) Flyweight division is still up in the air after Deiveson Figueiredo knocked out Joseph Benavidez this past weekend (Sat., Feb. 29, 2020) at UFC Fight Night 169 in Norfolk, Virginia (highlights).

With the win, Figueiredo should've been crowned the new division king, but since he failed to make weight, he was ineligible to win the strap, leaving the title vacant. The promotion hasn’t indicated that the division will be shut down, but the events that occurred over the weekend now leave Dana White and Co. in a predicament.

Should the promotion ultimately decide to do away with the weight class, former division king, Demetrious Johnson, won’t be sad if that day comes. And you shouldn’t be either, he says, as there are several options for all of the 125-pound combatants on the roster. But just don’t expect his new promotion, ONE Championship, to start handing out fight contracts like candy.

“No not at all,” Johnson said when asked on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show if he’d be sad if the division is deleted. “Those guys can go up to 135.”

According to “Mighty Mouse,” ONE is very selective with who it signs. But that is no reason for fighters to fret, as there are several other organizations out there with a healthy roster of 125-pound fighters.

“It’s not like if they shut down the division, ONE is going to be like, ‘Come on guys, you, yeah come, you get a free (contract),’” he said. “No, I don’t think that’s how it will be.

“I think ONE Championship is very selective on the talent they bring over to the roster,” he continued. “They want to grab athletes that fit their brand the best. But I am sure there is a place out there for everyone to compete. Look at Sergio Pettis, he’s over at Bellator now. You have RIZIN, PFL, there are many places.”

Johnson was infamously involved in a historic trade after he was shipped over to ONE Championship in exchange for Ben Askren back in 2018. “Funky” has since retired from MMA, while Johnson is still going strong and is 3-0 thus far with his new promotion.

Johnson will next face Adrian Moraes at ONE Infinity 1 on April 10, 2020, in Jakarta, Indonesia, for the 125-pound title.