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Morning Report: Henry Cejudo’s coach says the new champ-champ could move up to 145 pounds by end of year

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On Saturday night, Henry Cejudo became only the fourth champ-champ in UFC history, stopping Marlon Moraes to claim the bantamweight title to go along side his flyweight belt and his Olympic gold medal. The win immediately vaulted Cejudo to the upper echelon of the pound-for-pound list and gave at least some credence to his claim of being the greatest combat sport athlete of all time.

But what is next for “The Triple C”? What do you get the man who has everything? More money apparently.

After the fight, Cejudo made it clear that he deserves a raise for his nearly unprecedented success, calling himself “the face of the UFC,” and demanding to get paid. With two shiny UFC belts, he certainly has some negotiating power, but which of those belts Cejudo is planning to defend first is another question entirely. Cejudo has said he intends to save the flyweight division from extinction but it’s fair to assume that the more lucrative fights for him will be at bantamweight. And if that’s the case, it appears the flyweights will have to wait a little longer.

Speaking recently with Luke Thomas, Cejudo’s coach Eric Albarracin was asked about what title would be first to be defended and the Coach of the Year candidate said that his prized pupil will be defending whichever belt gets him paid the most and explained why Cejudo deserves it.

“I believe he will defend the Henry-weight division,” Albarracin said. “The Henry-weight money.

“I think I told you the story about Demetrious Johnson. He took almost a pay cut to take that fight and that’s why we’re here today. Everybody told him, ‘Don’t take this fight. They’re not paying you enough. You’re still on your contract from when you fought Sergio Pettis.’ And he was like, ‘No, if I don’t take this fight, it’ll be two years before I get this fight or they’ll get rid of the weight class or something. No, we’re gonna take this fight. I can beat him. It’s now. It’s now or never.’

“So just think, I think he made $80,000 that fight. It’s time to pay up. It’s great that he has 21 pounds of gold on his shoulder and resting on his chest, but he needs to have it in his bank account as well.”

Cejudo actually made $100,000 of disclosed pay for his UFC 227 victory over Demetrious Johnson, though that number does not include costs incurred by Cejudo, or the various payouts to his management and trainers. And considering the win in hindsight, it certainly does appear to be a pittance of what Cejudo deserves, so it makes sense that he and his team are angling so hard for a raise. And if moving up and getting a third title is the way to do that, Albarracin says they are ready to do that, sooner than you would expect.

“. . .I like a New Year’s Eve date [for 145 pounds],” Albarracin said. “Why not? This guy puts on muscle faster than any athlete I’ve ever seen. If you saw his pictures this week, he’s almost 150 pounds and he’s ripped and shredded.”

A featherweight title shot isn’t impossible to envision happening, Cejudo was an enormous flyweight reportedly fought Moraes weighing 150 pounds on fight night. If Frankie Edgar upsets Max Holloway later this year, a super fight between two two-division champions could make a ton of promotional sense. And if Cejudo managed to pull of such a feat, it would be hard to deny him the title of pound-for-pound champion, a title Albarracin already feels he deserves.

“To me it’s the competition,” Albarracin said. “The body of work that he has done. To beat Demetrious Johnson, who had 11 straight world title defenses, to beat the greatest bantamweight of all time, and then to come in and beat the most dangerous bantamweight in the game right now, on one leg, that’s what it is. And, none of those guys got a gold medal. If you ask them, if you put Henry and Jon Jones and Khabib Nurmagomedov and DC [Daniel Cormeir] all in the same room, you could all ask them and I’ve seen them all in the room together and they all tell him he’s pound-for-pound.”

Cejudo is currently the fourth-ranked pound-for-pound fighter behind Cormier, Jones, and Nurmagomedov but when the rankings are updated this week, it’s hard to imagine he won’t rise a few spots, it not take the top position overall.

Belt man get paid.


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The MMA Hour.

Monday Morning Analyst.

Bellator 222 Countdown.

Fight Motion.

The story of the UFC’s connection with the United States Armed Forces.

Get paid Henry.

Explaining what happened to Donald Cerrone’s face.


Fights Gone By. Jack Slack discussing UFC 238.

The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC 238 and Henry Cejudo’s ascent.


Incredibly honest self-evaluation. Much respect.


Justin Gaethje is awesome.

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He ready.

I don’t know what that hashtag means.


She’s the best female fighter on the planet and she can do this. Woman is a goddamn Marvel superhero.

Those sure are some wraps.

Crazy to think about.


Chris Wade (15-5) vs. Akhmed Aliev (18-4); PFL 16, July 25.

Lance Palmer (18-3) vs. Luis Rafael Laurentino (34-1); PFL 16, July 25.

Demetrious Johnson (28-3-1) vs. Tatsumitsu Wada (21-10-2); ONE Championship, Aug. 2.

Eddie Alvarez (29-7) vs. Eduard Folayang (21-7); ONE Championship, Aug. 2.

Gabriel Benitez (15-2) vs. Sodiq Yusuff (9-1); UFC 241, Aug. 17.

Curtis Blaydes (11-2, 1 NC) vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-4); UFC 242, Sept. 7.


If Frankie does somehow pull it off, I won’t lie, I’d love to see the Cejudo fight. Order be damned that would be one hell of a moment for this sport.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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