Naoki Inoue cut by UFC, signs with CFFC
Naoki Inoue has been released by the UFC. The Japanese fighter is the latest in a long line of flyweights to get their marching papers but he has already found a new home with CFFC and has a fight booked on February 16th.
Inoue went 1-1 during his UFC stint and the sole loss was a split decision. But it wasn’t enough to persuade the promotion to retain his services and, like former champion Demetrious Johnson and compatriot Ulka Sasaki, he has wasted no time in signing for another promotion.
Inoue (11-1) faces former flyweight champion Sean Santella (20-7-1) at CFFC 72 in Atlantic City. The American was the most recent holder of the promotion’s 125lbs belt but appears to have been stripped of his title after losing a recent fight for Brave CF.
The future of the UFC’s flyweight division looks bleak. Most of the fighters appear to have been released although there is a title fight coming up, with Henry Cejudo set to defend his belt against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw in Brooklyn next week.
Joseph Benavidez, who has been competing at 125lbs since 2012, is also booked for next week’s UFC on ESPN 1 card. He recently announced a four fight extension to his contract and says he plans to continue campaigning at flyweight.
It is a confusing situation to say the least. But at least Inoue didn’t have to wait too long to book his next bout; he has only fought twice since signing for the UFC in early 2017.