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Morning Report: Henry Cejudo undecided on future but admits the bantamweight division is ‘more appetizing’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Henry Cejudo is almost ready to get back into action, but when he does, he’s still not sure who it will be against.

After winning the bantamweight title in June to go along with his flyweight belt, Cejudo had shoulder surgery to repair a torn subscapularis muscle. His been recovering ever since but speaking with ESPN, “Triple C” says he’s almost fully recovered and still targeting a return early next year, if he can get his financial situation settled with the UFC.

“I think I have about a month left,” Cejudo said. “I think I have three to four weeks before I can start training so I imagine around the first week of November that I’ll be 100 percent ready...

“I don’t want to make a decision - it sucks that I say that - until I’m 100 percent healthy and I have a meeting with the UFC. I don’t want to jump the gun not knowing what’s on the table, like, what’s gonna happen with Uncle Dana. They’ve taken care of me and whatnot but that’s something that’s huge to me. That means a lot to me...

“I’ve got two belts. I know what Daniel makes. I don’t want to get into it because it’s a conversation I’m gonna have to have with my boss and the organization. I’m a legend man, and I’ve got to start hitting those numbers like a legend.”

Following his win over Marlon Moraes to claim the bantamweight title, Cejudo began referring to himself as “the greatest combat sport athlete of all time” and now it seems he’d like to be paid as such. Whether that will actually happen is anyone’s guess. The UFC have historically been pretty tough negotiators and have most of the leverage in these affairs, but Cejudo recognizes he is not without options, including possibly sitting out from the sport until he gets what he feels he’s owed.

“That’s not my job, that’s Ali’s [Abdelaziz, Cejudo’s manager] job,” Cejudo said when discussing potential negotiations. “I put my trust in him and I feel like I should have a meeting with Dana White. I feel like this is serious. My legacy is written and it’s still being written. To say, at least, I want a number. I want a number and there’s options in there for me. Take a break from the sport. . .”

The nuclear option is a risky one for any fighter but has been employed by a number of the biggest stars in the sport, Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor most notably. Cejudo clearly believes himself to be of a similar stature but does not really want to have to take it that far. If he had his druthers, he’d be getting back into action next year, though he admits he’s not set on whether it will to defend his bantamweight or his flyweight title, though he has potential opponents in mind for both.

“Obviously we’ve got Joe [Benavidez] at 125 pounds and there’s two guys that I would like to fight at 135 pounds,” Cejudo said. “Dominick Cruz and potentially Frankie Edgar. I want another legend.”

That might not sit too well with Dana White though. The UFC President has said that when Cejudo returns he needs to first defend his flyweight title or else give it up, and surprisingly, Cejudo seems to be okay with that idea. While the champ-champ is not fully decided on leaving behind 125 pounds for good, Cejudo said that he knows he’ll have to drop one belt at some point and that at the moment the 135-pound division is more appealing to him.

“That’s okay,” Cejudo said about potentially being forced to vacate his flyweight title. “Eventually I do have to leave a belt. It’s stressful having to hold up two weight divisions. I don’t want that stress on me. So I am gonna have to choose and both weight classes. . . 135 seems more appetizing to be quite honest with you. There’s just more color, you don’t have to cut as much weight, but there is a loss on my record against Joe and that stings a little bit.”

But it seems like Benavidez might be left in the cold because though Cejudo says nothing is set in stone for him at the moment, he does seem to be especially interested in a bout with former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

“I’ll hurt him and that’s the reason why, at 135, he’s my number one pick,” Cejudo said. “Because I want to hurt him. I think he’s a smart aleck. He’s a smarty pants and I really don’t like that and when you meet Dominick he says a lot about you. Every time he fights somebody he always talks about their character and to me it’s about being an entertainer, selling a fight. But I don’t like him. I don’t like Dominick. I want an easy fight. I want a tuneup fight so Dominick Cruz, if you’re watching, you’re gonna bend the knee to Triple C.”

Cruz has not fought since losing his bantamweight title to Cody Garbrandt in 2016. The former champion was scheduled for a number of bouts but has suffered several injuries that have once again derailed his career. Cruz has been adamant that he is not retiring though, and since Cejudo began calling him out, is angling for a bout with the current champion in 2020.


Big game. Fedor Emelianenko vs. ‘Rampage’ Jackson to headline Bellator x RIZIN event on Dec. 29.

Big mad. Jon Jones continues expletive-filled verbal war with ‘f**king nerd’ Israel Adesanya.

Journey. Jorge Masvidal reflects on the road that brought him to Nate Diaz at UFC 244.

Come back. Max Holloway will ‘100 percent’ eventually return to the lightweight division.

Update. Thiago Santos gives update on injury recovery, doesn’t need ‘tune-up fight’ before possible Jon Jones rematch.

Fedor. Bellator and Rizin FF to hold ‘historic’ event on Dec. 29 in Japan, Fedor on tap.


Kelvin discussing UFC 243.

Dominance MMA Media Press Conference.

Dominance MMA also went to TMZ.

Bellator-Rizin press conference.

UFC Connected.

Interesting ref stories.


The Co-Main Event. Discussing Israel Adesanya’s coronation.

Mookie & Crookie. Discussing Izzy plus Cain’s move to the pro-wrestling waters.


Jon being all aggro.

Izzy keeps it moving.

Fight poster.

DC standing up for his boy, Hooker trying to stay jumping the line.

A good point.

By the way, here’s City Kickboxing reacting to Izzy’s win.


Cowboy already back at it.

View this post on Instagram

Well I guess it’s about that time agin!!

A post shared by Donald Cerrone (@cowboycerrone) on

This is a neat fact.


Mike Davis (7-2) vs. Thomas Gifford (17-8); UFC on ESPN+ 19, Oct. 12.

Randa Markos (9-7-1) vs. Ashley Yoder (7-4); ESPN+ 20, Oct. 26.

Fedor Emelianenko (38-6) vs. Quinton Jackson (38-13); Rizin vs. Bellator, Dec. 29.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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