Imagine, in any other division in the UFC, a fighter being granted a title shot coming off a single win. That’s the case with the Wilson Reis title shot at UFC 201, and it’s shocking.

It’s not to say Reis isn’t a good fighter. He is. And there are reasons for a flyweight title fight happening at UFC 201, mainly Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson’s shiny new UFC contract, and the champ wanting to stay active.

However, if MMA is to be considered a serious sport, you need to have something more than a single win — a decision over Dustin Ortiz — on your resume before you take on one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. And you need to have more than four fights at flyweight (or whatever weight class you’re fighting at) overall.

And therein lies the problem. Reis, 20-6 overall, has a wealth of experience, but doesn’t really have the name value of a Henry Cejudo, Joseph Benavidez, or John Dodson. He hasn’t been in the division long, and is 4-2 overall since 2012, with one finish. There’s nothing on his resume to suggest he has anything to offer Mighty Mouse, yet by virtue of that lone against Ortiz, he has been given a chance, slim as it might be, at gold.

Why? Because the rest of the division has already lost to Johnson, sometimes repeatedly, and because those who haven’t are all coming off losses.

Realistically, the UFC should have seen this coming, and planned accordingly. A third fight with Benavidez would have been a more fan-friendly fight at this point, but he’s set to coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter (whether there’s any merit left in that show in another question). It’s great that the show is going to bring in some fresh blood — and a new challenger, in the form of whoever wins the tournament — for the 125lb weight class, but it seems a tad late. This should have been done last year, before the list of viable challengers for Johnson dried up.

Or, the UFC needs to let him go up in weight, while holding his flyweight title, and stalk the bantamweight ranks. At this point, he has earned it, and flyweight is simply too thin for the UFC to continue pitting fighters who aren’t ready for the shot against one of the best in the world.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.