In the tail-end of his UFC career Olympic gold medallist Henry Cejudo did what only three other fighters have mustered in the sport—held two consecutive UFC titles. Cejudo joined the ranks of Amanda Nunes, Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier when he beat Marlon Moraes to clinch the vacant UFC bantamweight title in 2019.
At that time Cejudo was already the UFC flyweight champion, having defeated Demetrious Johnson a year prior. Cejudo defended his bantamweight title, against Dominick Cruz, in 2020 and then announced his retirement from the sport.
Since then ‘Triple-C’ has been active online calling out a number of fighters, including UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and interim UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan, and claiming that he wants back into the Octagon.
Despite Cejudo’s seemingly willingness to fight, an opportunity for the 35-year-old has not presented itself. Recently Cejudo spoke with MMA Junkie about why he thinks he’ll never fight in the UFC again.
“I think the way that things are going, I think I talked too much shit,” revealed Cejudo. “I think I picked on Dana [White] a little too much. He’s just not going to pay me. I’ve accepted that. This is why I’m able to throw out the kitchen sink from now on because it’s never going to change. It’s not going to change.
“He’s going to pay Jorge [Masvidal]. He’s going to pay the 1 percent. He’s going to pay the entertainers – and that’s partially what I am. I’m an entertainer. I could sell a damn fight and I can fight better than all those dudes combined. It sucks, but that’s just the way it is. It’s just business. I ain’t mad. Maybe a little frustrated, but I ain’t mad. That’s just life.”
Cejudo did say that he hoped a swell in fan support might convince the UFC President to change his mind.
“You fans, you guys want me back, you guys get on Dana. The only third party I have is you guys. You guys want to see me back, stop saying, ‘Oh, you’re ruining your prime, your career’ – no. You guys make a fuss about the pay, get me paid, and I’ll be back. I’ll fight 10 more times if I have to, but I’m just not doing it for that money.”
Each time Cejudo has spoken up about his desire to fight it’s been met with derision from White. Most recently, White called the idea of Cejudo returning a “silly conversation”.
“For Cejudo to retire and then just think he should be able to come in and jump into any weight division and take on the champion, it’s not how it works,” said White as he explained the exact scenario that played out when former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre returned to face Michael Bisping for the UFC middleweight title 2017.
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