Wilson Reis returns to the Octagon this weekend at UFC 236 in Atlanta, Georgia when he takes on fellow flyweight Alexandre Pantoja on the ESPN preliminary card.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight division has come under scrutiny in recent months with rumors swirling that the promotion is looking to remove the division from the promotion, although nothing has been announced and the UFC is still signing flyweight fighters to contracts.
Former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw claimed he was sent to “kill the flyweight division” when he dropped down a weight division to take on 125-pound champ Henry Cejudo in January. That never came to fruition as Cejudo finished Dillashaw in just 32 seconds to retain the belt.
Reis told Combate that he hasn’t been told anything regarding the future of the flyweight division but believes the promotion will cancel the division by mid-year (translation via Bloody Elbow).
“It’s really confusing,” Reis said. “The UFC doesn’t tell fighters anything about the division, if it’s going to continue or not. I believe that, in the UFC, there is only me, Alexandre Pantoja, Jussier Formiga, Deiveson Figueiredo, Joseph Benavidez, and Henry Cejudo. Very few people. You can see that after Pantoja, in the rankings, there are only some odd fighters, so you can’t tell. I believe we’ll have flyweight fights up until June or July, tops, then they’ll end the division. Especially with Cejudo fighting at bantamweight.”
That timeline, according to Reis, will give him one more chance at securing the title starting with this weekend’s fight against Pantoja:
“That’s why this fight is so important,” Reis said. “A win could put me in a great position. I could get a title eliminator fight or a fight against some well ranked, like Formiga. Either that or I’ll move up. It’s all up in the air now. I’m only concerned about my next fight, about winning. I trained hard to score a great win on Saturday.”