Conor McGregor blames ONE Championship for reported demise of UFC flyweight division
After ONE Championship signed the most dominant champion in UFC history, the UFC’s biggest star says the promotion best take the rest of the division, too.
You must now take all the 125lbers that have been let go, Chatri.
You talk all of this Martial Art and respect talk, yet your greed has directly cost more than half a fighting division it’s chance to earn income for their family.
Have respect @YODCHATRI.
Sign the division.
ONE Championship, of course, recently signed Demetrious Johnson, who owns the record for the most consecutive title defenses in UFC history. While there had been rumblings of the UFC potentially dissolving the flyweight division even before Johnson’s departure, they have only intensified in the wake of the move, which came as part of a “trade” with the UFC for Ben Askren.
On Wednesday, UFC flyweights Jose Torres and Jarred Brooks each revealed they had been released from the promotion, and multiple people who spoke to MMAjunkie on the condition of anonymity said to expect additional roster cuts in the division.
Prior to McGregor’s statement, former UFC lightweight Kajan Johnson, a longtime supporter of fighter organizational efforts, put out a dagger of a statement, as well, pointing to UFC athletes’ lack of effort in forming either a union or an association as a primary reason such moves can be made.
UFC officials have yet to publicly comment on the matter.
Earlier this year, Sityodtong was critical of McGregor, saying ONE Championship would make no attempt to sign McGregor, even if the UFC’s top draw was a free agent, because he doesn’t represent true martial arts.
“If Conor McGregor was a free agent, ONE Championship would not try to sign him,” Sityodtong told CNN in April. “We don’t want somebody to swear at people, throw water bottles, disrespect people, call out people’s wives and children, and – in my opinion – other distasteful stuff that is not representative of true martial arts.
ONE Championship returns to action on Friday with “ONE Championship 83: Heart of the Lion,” which takes place at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Prelims stream on Twitter and Facebook, while the main card streams live on the ONE Championship app.
Meanwhile, the UFC hosts its 25h anniversary show on Saturday in Denver with “UFC Fight Night 139: The Korean Zombie vs. Rodriguez.”
For more on both promotions’ schedules, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.