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Morning Report: Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan engage in back-and-forth with Henry Cejudo

Henry Cejudo wants to reclaim his bantamweight title Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

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.

“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.

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.

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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FINAL THOUGHTS

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.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who deserves the next bantamweight title shot?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Aljamain Sterling
    (436 votes)
  • 53%
    Petr Yan
    (657 votes)
  • 10%
    Jose Aldo
    (135 votes)
1228 votes total Vote Now

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