Bad news: Coach Wonka insists that checks be written out to Team Oompa directly, not to the fighters. (Pic: Smosh.com)
The little guys will get a chance to make their debut in the UFC, just not as soon as earlier predicted. Dana White is now eying early 2012—not the end of this year—as a likely introduction of the Flyweight class.
The 125 pounders had a home in the Zuffa-owned WEC, but they have yet to make the crossover to the UFC. With Zuffa just now really starting to break in their freshly minted Bantamweight and Featherweight divisions, it would make sense for them to build fans around those two weight classes before adding in a brand new crop of pint-sized punchers.
In addition to the frantic pace that the diminutive fighters bring to the cage, they could potentially help tip the scales in Zuffa’s favor as they try to break into the Japanese MMA market. Many consensus top-10 Flyweight mixed martial artists hail from the Land of the Rising Sun, and with the whole Akiyama thing not working out so well, they could use dozens of tiny helping hands in their efforts abroad.
Just as we saw with the addition of the Bantam and Featherweight divisions, White expects many fighters to shed some pounds when the opportunity to compete in a lower weight class presents itself. Some fighters have allegedly already begun that process.