Photo via Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va – The UFC Flyweight Division was scheduled to embark in a new era tomorrow with a vacant title fight at UFC Fight Night 169 between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo. However, Figueiredo was the last fighter to step on the scales this morning for the weigh-in and missed weight by 2.5 pounds. He had to meet the title weight of 125 pounds to be eligible to compete for the belt.
Following the miss, Figueiredo had one hour to cut the additional 2.5 pounds, but decided to forego it and will not only be ineligible to win the belt, but will also forfeit 30 percent of his fight purse to Benavidez.
If Benavidez wins the fight, he will be flyweight champion, unlike the case for Figueiredo.
The status of the UFC Flyweight Division has been in question since the days of Demetrious Johnson in the UFC when it looked like he could not lose to anyone. When current bantamweight champion and former flyweight champion Henry Cejudo defeated Johnson back in August of 2018, it looked like the flyweight division would continue on. However, Cejudo has held up the division defending his bantamweight title and has not defended the flyweight belt since January of 2019.
With Cejudo scheduled to defend his bantamweight title for his next fight, Benavidez winning will be a must for those that are currently fighting at flyweight because the division cannot go another day without an active champion.
UFC Fight Night 169 takes place tomorrow at the Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. The card will be streamed on ESPN+ beginning at 5:00 p.m. EST.