The Forgotten Fight: Henry Cejudo, Formiga Battle in Title Eliminator

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2015

MONTERREY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 18:  Henry Cejudo holds an open workout for fans and media at Nave Lewis-Parque Fundidora on November 18, 2015 in Monterrey, Mexico. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Did you know there is a possible title eliminator taking place this weekend? If not, don't feel bad because most folks do not. It was not until Monday, following the hustle and bustle of UFC 193, when I took a peek at the card and noticed it was happening myself.

It has been forgotten.

No. 3-ranked flyweight contender Jussier "Formiga" da Silva and No. 5-ranked contender Henry Cejudo will get locked inside the cage with a shot at Demetrious Johnson's gold belt up for grabs.

It is easy to see why this fight falls through the cracks. It is sandwiched in the middle of a two-month span with six other events that included UFC 193 and 194—two of the biggest UFC events in history. Also, historically speaking, flyweights are not that popular. The focus of the MMA world can easily skip a high-level fight between Formiga and Cejudo regardless of its huge implications. And that's disheartening.

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It's understandably flying under the radar, but there are good fights coming up this weekend: Magny-Gastelum, Lamas-Sanchez, Cejudo-Formiga.

This important battle will not even co-main event UFC Fight Night 78 in Monterrey, Mexico. It will be third on the main card. This fight is an afterthought.

Formiga is currently on a three-fight win streak, and all three wins have been over quality competition. Scott Jorgensen, Zach Makovsky and Wilson Reis have all fallen to the longtime top flyweight. Cejudo brings in an unblemished 9-0 record.

It is a clash of styles. Cejudo is an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling and has crisp boxing to boot. Formiga is a jiu-jitsu specialist. Formiga is a steep underdog in this fight (currently as high as 4-1, courtesy of Odds Shark), but he is a live dog. All eyes are on Cejudo.

Cejudo is the "golden boy." He even wears gold shorts to the cage for his fights. His high-level skills look to be an interesting match for the champion, and a win Saturday should elevate him to that spot.

It's unfortunate this fight is buried among the myriad of other exciting fights in this two-month span, but it's even more unfortunate it cannot get respect on what is a below-average fight card taking place this weekend. It is the only fight with any real immediate significance. The main event between Neil Magny and Kelvin Gastelum will elevate the winner, but it isn't an important title eliminator.

There is always a chance the UFC brass changes its mind, but the flyweight division needs another fresh contender, and the only fight that will deliver it takes place Saturday. All signs point to the winner of this fight getting the next shot.

With its huge importance in the 125-pound division, this fight deserves more. It deserves more promotion and respect from the UFC and fans alike. It did not deserve to be buried and forgotten although it was and has been.

When the referee kicks off Round 1, you should be in your seat for what is one of the best fights in this incredible stretch of UFC action. Witness who becomes he next flyweight title challenger. This is the UFC at its sporting best.


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