The UFC Men's Flyweight Title: A Visual History

By Ben Duffy Jun 15, 2021
Brandon Moreno reigns supreme over a UFC flyweight division that has gone from death-watch to must-watch in under three years.

In the co-main event of UFC 263 on Saturday, “The Assassin Baby” left Deiveson Figueiredo in the dust, beating him in every phase of the fight before choking him out in the third round. Beyond the sensational in-cage performance, Moreno’s completely unguarded celebration, and the ecstatic reception of the Arizona crowd, seemed to point to the possible emergence of a new star.

All of this would have seemed unlikely in the extreme in late 2018, when recently dethroned champ Demetrious Johnson, one of the most dominant fighters in the sport but never quite a household name, departed for One Championship. With the new titleholder, Henry Cejudo, willing to fight at bantamweight, the future of the division appeared to be in question. Between fighters leaving, being cut or voluntarily moving up in weight, the UFC men’s flyweight division at one point dwindled to barely a dozen names.

The UFC never did shutter flyweight, and the division has experienced a remarkable resurgence, to the point of signing top free agents such as former Rizin Fighting Federation flyweight kingpin Manel Kape. Much like the post-Georges St. Pierre welterweight scene, flyweight may not have gotten better by losing an all-time great, but it’s certainly been more interesting.

Here is the nearly eight-year history of the UFC men’s flyweight title and the times it was won, lost or defended. It tells the story of a division once thought unsellable and expendable, exploding into a dynamic new era.

Ben Duffy/ illustration

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