When Henry Cejudo won the vacant 135-pound title last June with a TKO win over Marlon Moraes at UFC 238, he became only the fourth champ-champ in UFC history. The win also immediately raised questions from fans about how he would defend both titles. Well, so far, the answer has been he won’t defend either.
Cejudo was stripped of his flyweight title late last year, and eight months later, he has yet to defend his bantamweight belt. Furthermore, Cejudo seems dead set on fighting anyone other than the top-ranked bantamweight contenders, calling for fights with Alexander Volkanovski, Jose Aldo, and even Valentina Shevchenko in lieu of title defenses against the Petr Yans and Aljamain Sterlings of the world. And the top contenders are starting to get mad about it.
Speaking with Ariel Helwani on Monday, second-ranked contender Aljamain Sterling addressed his frustration with Cejudo’s cavalier attitude towards being a champion, saying that “Triple C” is gunning for payday fights because as much as he’s tried, fans still don’t care about him as a champion.
“In the beginning I respected Henry very, very much,” Sterling said. “I still do, in terms of his accolades. It’s not the UFC’s fault, it’s not my fault that you can’t sell tickets, that your name alone doesn’t carry enough weight to sell tickets to fight the number one contenders in your division. That’s on you. And I understand the whole schtick that he’s trying to do to help build that name but he should’ve been doing that sh*t beforehand. Now it’s a little too late. Now you have to fight the number one guys, beat those guys to get some credible name value so that people can respect you and want to shell out hard-earned money.”
Sterling’s appearance on Helwani’s show then prompted the bantamweight champion to respond on Twitter, taking shots at both Sterling and Petr Yan, and justifying his call out of Aldo, who is currently on a two-fight losing streak.
Triple C doesn’t even pay attention to Aljamima Sterling Silver @funkmastermma ♀️secondly, Triple C wants to fight you Petr, but your English needs to get Betr, you ugly communist potato And last but not least, my tune-up fight, the cabbage patch head Jose Waldo. @danawhite pic.twitter.com/5bRzspHrwb— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) February 17, 2020
“He’s been hurt. He got knocked out by the guy I knocked out. Petr Yan beat a number 12 guy, a 41 year old retired skateboarder. Are you kidding me? That’s who you guys want me to fight? No, no, no. I need a name. I deserve the name. Plus I just came out of surgery. I blew my damn left shoulder out. I do want a tune-up fight and that is Jose Waldo. Actually, they’re all tune-up fights.”
It should be noted that at one time, Cejudo was also seeking a fight with the “41 year old retired skateboarder” Urijah Faber.
Cejudo’s Twitter response then set off a prolonged back-and-forth between him and Sterling, with both men referencing the losses of one another, repeatedly.
I love it when you tease me, Henry. Didn’t you fold up to a body shot? I remember that shot making you bend both knees— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) February 17, 2020
The ab game must be weak in Arizona. Man, I can’t wait to test it again! #PudgySoft https://t.co/XEXm0yNKvz
Ohhh ho ho!!! Let’s play this game! https://t.co/MaWmI0I0l5— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) February 18, 2020
It was at this very moment Mighty Mouse made @HenryCejudo say, “OK I GIVE UP! LET ME TURTLE!”— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) February 18, 2020
I always liked soft shelled tacos! You better hide that burrito belly bc I’m starving! #FoldedAndQUIT!! pic.twitter.com/HBVnuj2uZo
Why do you have to take it so personal ?— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) February 18, 2020
I’d love to see you try it! Bet one kick to that soft belly will make you roll over and quit - again!— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) February 18, 2020
Henry: waaaah! Ref, I don’t want to play this game anymore! It HURTS!!
Ref: it’s alright Henry, the boogie man is gone now..I promise @MightyMouse won’t hurt you anymore! https://t.co/Ph83L2b11r pic.twitter.com/bgFyLMLCZk
You know what you got me! Have a good night! pic.twitter.com/JpIUdoH85u— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) February 18, 2020
That wasn’t all though. Third-ranked contender Petr Yan also had words for Cejudo, following Cejudo’s dismissal of him as a contender which prompted it’s own small exchange.
Like I said, betr English please! And tell that ugly bald pimple face of a manager to get you hooked on Phonics. https://t.co/Bww4am5IVf— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) February 18, 2020
This clown choosing Aldo because I don’t speak perfect English ♂️ Since when Jose is the fluent speaker? What kind of logic is that? Henry knows he is not a draw and he is unsecured. In his head he already lost the fight to me. @ufc give me someone who is confident in himself! https://t.co/hAxpZKDICr— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) February 18, 2020
Unfortunately for both Yan and Sterling, it seems as if Cejudo will be getting his way after all. UFC President Dana White has said that the UFC is looking to book Cejudo against sixth-ranked contender Jose Aldo for UFC 250 in Brazil despite Aldo never having won a fight at the bantamweight limit.
Cejudo may not be keeping the bantamweight division relevant with title fights, but he’s certainly been bringing the drama.
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
@ALIAQUINTA Bro you won 2 fights in the last 5 years.... pipe down— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 17, 2020
Do something about it— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) February 17, 2020
How many did i give up in dustin?— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) February 17, 2020
I promise you i didn't give up in that fight— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 17, 2020
You tap you give up. You gave up— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) February 17, 2020
Hey @ALIAQUINTA if they pay me right and you down to do it at 170lbs I'll fight you.— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 17, 2020
Let's get it tough guy— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 17, 2020
Because i definitely ain't cutting weight for an opportunity to fight Al lol https://t.co/MAyrysVggZ— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) February 17, 2020
Islam wants a piece of Al.
Hooker, Felder, Lee and Gillespie now.— Makhachev Islam (@MAKHACHEVMMA) February 17, 2020
Hey @ALIAQUINTA I know you’re NY gangster, let me know if you’re in.
Vanessa Melo (10-7) vs. Sarah Alpar (9-4); UFC Oklahoma City, May 2.
Cejudo is the worst and I blame this entirely on the referees who were too dumb to know that Mighty Mouse beat Cejudo in their rematch. And maybe a little on Marlon Moraes.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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