After waiting for Cejudo to decide whether or not he was going to return to defend his flyweight title, Benavidez ultimately ended up facing Deiveson Figueiredo for a vacant belt back in February. He ended up falling by TKO after Figueiredo failed to make weight, which left the flyweight division without a champion.
Afterwards, Cejudo joked that he defended his title from the couch because a new champion wasn’t crowned, and he’s continued to tease that he might go back to flyweight one day to prove he’s the best 125-pound fighter on the planet.
For his part, Benavidez doesn’t take any offense to Cejudo’s tirades on Twitter but he also knows the former flyweight champion isn’t coming back to the division to defend anything.
“You can’t pay that any mind,” Benavidez told MMA Fighting. “I mean look at half the things Henry says. It’s for publicity and he does a great job at it. I don’t mind the schtick. I’m glad he found his niche. It’s funny. It’s good for the people that he’s fighting, me included. He’s an incredible competitor but on this, my stance is he doesn’t mean it. It’s just something else he’s saying. It was the right time. The flyweights were fighting, he had the title stripped, the easiest time to say that.
“The reason I had to wait so long is because he was like ‘I might go back, I might go back’ with no intention of actually going back. So this is another thing he’s saying. Building it up, getting people excited, prolong a few things. I don’t know if he thinks he’s going to get the belt back or whatever. It’s just more stuff he’s saying for promotion.”
Cejudo is currently tied to a potential bantamweight title fight against Dominick Cruz when the UFC resumes its regular schedule on May 9.
Because Benavidez already holds a win over Cejudo from their previous meeting, he’s not losing any sleep over “Triple C” making his return to 125 pounds. In fact, Benavidez casts doubt on Cejudo ever making the difficult cut down to flyweight ever again.
There’s only one scenario where he could ever see that happening anyways.
“The only way I could see him going back to flyweight is if he loses and doesn’t have any belts and then he might,” Benavidez said. “Then there’s a chance because there’s something else he doesn’t have now. But if he’s defending at [135 pounds] and winning, he will not be back at 125 pounds. He would have done that this time.
“I don’t think anyone should pay attention to that. He’s not going back to flyweight.”