In January, when Henry Cejudo knocked out then bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, many people (including Cejudo himself) claimed that he had saved the flyweight division. The division had for some time been at the brink of being taken away, with the inaugural champion not seeing eye to eye with management and then departing, and a number of top 10 fighters being let go. However, after that win, there was a consensus that 125 had found some stability.
At least one flyweight though is not so sure that Cejudo has accomplished the task at hand. UFC Busan's Matt Schnell spoke with The Top Turtle Podcast about whether or not his division is safe.
"[Henry has] done a great job - he's kind of put the flyweights back on the map and I'm thankful for that," Schnell admitted. "But I feel there's work to be done, and he's got other opportunities and moved up."
While noting Cejudo's other opportunities, Schnell added that he didn't think it looked like Cejudo would ever come back down, which obviously jams a wrench in the division-saving hopes.
"It doesn't look like to me that he's coming back down," he said. "All the things he says, all the things he does leads me to believe that he's going to stay a bantamweight."
And even though a lot of people are upset with "Triple C" Schnell isn't one of them. In fact, Schnell understands that Cejudo has to do what's right for himself. Although he does wish it would happen sooner rather than later.
"That's fine, but we need to figure out what's happening," said Schnell. "That's why I feel it's up to me and Pantoja, it's up to Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France. We have to go out there and really push the pace, put on some good fights and show that this division has some ground to stand on. It's up to us if we want this division to continue to be something, I think it's up to us performing in these coming weeks."
With Kai Kara-France and Brandon Moreno closing out the year with a flyweight banger, it is certainly on better footing. Schnell though, is cautious in his expectations.
"It's unfortunate, but I just don't think the flyweights are out of the woods yet," Schnell stated.
Schnell will look to do his part to solidify the flyweights spot in the UFC when he takes on Alexandre Pantoja as part of the UFC Busan preliminary card on Saturday morning.