Henry Cejudo

The Messenger


Vacates bantamweight title
May 25, 2020
Cejudo has officially vacated the bantamweight title after announcing his retirement following his UFC 249 victory over Dominick Cruz, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
A new set of UFC rankings were recently released that were complete void of Cejudo's name in either the bantamweight or flyweight divisions, setting the stage for this title to be relinquished. The company has historically had a quick hook on Cejudo's belts, as the former two-division champion saw Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo fight for the vacant flyweight title in late-February. Unfortunately that belt remains vacant, as Figueiredo missed weight by 2.5 pounds but still won, and that bout is now being rescheduled for the summer. It's been less than a month since Cejudo defended his bantamweight strap, however, and many were curious how serious he was about his retirement announcement. The thought was that Cejudo was simply using the platform to gain leverage in negotiating his next contact, but the company called his bluff, and he's now belt-less. This potentially sets the stage for a June 6 bout between Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen to serve as a title bout.
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Retains gold, shockingly retires
May 9, 2020
Cejudo (16-2-0) defeated Dominick Cruz (22-3-0) to via TKO (strikes) at 4:58 of Round 2 to retain his UFC Bantamweight Championship and shockingly retired following the fight at UFC 249 in Jacksonville. He announced after the victory in a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan that he intends to end his MMA career.
Cejudo's retirement came as a surprise coming off an impressive win, but the 33-year-old noted that he was eager to start a family and take a break from the sport after training as a fighter since he was 11 years old. If Cejudo follows through with his plan to retire, he'll step away as one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the history of the sport. He began his pro career just over seven years ago as a one-dimensional wrestler. Cejudo improved every single aspect of his game since then, particularly his striking. His victory over Cruz on Saturday came after a perfectly placed knee to the face flattened the former champ. Cejudo followed up with unanswered shots to the side of the head before referee Keith Peterson called for a controversial stoppage with just seconds left in Round 2. If Cejudo is indeed stepping aside, he's doing it on top. He's won his past six fights, with his four most recent victories coming against Cruz, Marlon Moraes, TJ Dillashaw, and Demetrious Johnson. It gets no better.
New opponent at UFC 249
April 9, 2020
Cejudo will now defend his bantamweight championship against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 on May 9 at an unspecified location, Raphael Marinho of Combate.com reports.
Cejudo was meant to head into enemy territory in Brazil to defend his belt against Jose Aldo, but the location of the event will ultimately have to be moved due to travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With Aldo having problems securing a work visa on time, he had no choice left to withdraw from the fight and let the UFC move forward with new plans. Cejudo had been a (-190) betting favorite in the proposed matchup against Aldo, and he's an even bigger favorite at approximately (-240) against Cruz. It's been almost four years since Cruz last competed, when he fell to Cody Garbrandt via unanimous decision. He's one of the most technical bantamweight fighters to ever grace the Octagon, but it's fair to wonder how the time off will affect him.
Fight against Jose Aldo confirmed
February 24, 2020
Cejudo will face Jose Aldo for the bantamweight title at UFC 250 in Sao Paulo on May 19, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
The fight had been reported in early February pending additional negotiations, and those negotiations have evidently now been completed. Cejudo has been sidelined due to shoulder surgery since defending his title in June. Aldo will get a shot to take that crown despite losing two straight matches and four of his last six.
Linked to matchup with Jose Aldo
February 3, 2020
Cejudo is in line to face Jose Aldo at UFC 250 on May 9 in Brazil pending additional negotiations, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Cejudo has been on the sidelines since his first bantamweight title defense against Marlon Moraes last June. His absence has been due largely to shoulder surgery that was required after that bout, but he's since been forced to relinquish his flyweight belt. The now-former two-division champion has been targeting Aldo for his next title defense, even though Aldo dropped his bantamweight debut with a narrow split-decision loss to Moraes in December. Aldo has lost back-to-back fights and four of his last six overall, but the name recognition and presence in a new division is enough to get him a title shot in his native Brazil. Aldo would sport three-inch height and six-inch reach advantages in this theoretical matchup, though the weight cut would be significantly easier on Cejudo. "The Messenger" could always turn to his wrestling to negate this advantage, though that might not be easy going against Aldo and his career 91 percent takedown defense.
No longer flyweight champion
December 20, 2019
Cejudo will relinquish his flyweight title and focus on defending his bantamweight title moving forward, Mike Bohn of MMAJunkie.com reports.
Cejudo last competed at flyweight in August of 2018, when he won the belt from long-reigning champion Demetrious Johnson via decision. Both of his 2019 fights were at bantamweight, as he convincingly took the belt from T.J. Dillashaw in January and most recently defended it against Marlon Moraes in June. He'll focus on defending his bantamweight title moving forward, leaving the door open for a matchup between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figuerido for the vacant flyweight title, scheduled for Feb. 29 in Norfolk, Virginia. A return date for Cejudo remains uncertain, as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery that was necessary following the June fight against Moraes.