Henry Cejudo may be retired from MMA, but his opportunities in other combat sports are only just beginning.
Last weekend, Cejudo became only the second fighter in history to ever successfully defend a title in two different weight classes in the UFC when he stopped Dominick Cruz in the co-main event of UFC 249. After the bout, Cejudo announced his retirement from MMA, saying that he had accomplished everything he could in the sport and once again reasserting his belief that he’s the “greatest combat sport athlete of all time.” Well, undefeated WBC Silver lightweight boxing champion Ryan Garcia is hoping Cejudo will put his money where is mouth is.
Following Cejudo’s retirement, Garcia threw out the idea of a crossover fight and “Triple C” responded in his usual manner, asking Dana White for permission to box the undefeated prospect. And speaking with TMZ Sports recently, Garcia says he’s completely serious about the offer, and would like to fight Cejudo as soon as July.
“Chicken Little, he got very disrespectful, in my honest opinion,” Garcia said. “I came at him in a respectful way but he came at me in a disrespectful way, so in that regard, that needs to be handled. I haven’t found an opponent for July 4 but I feel like we can make that happen if he really wants that work. He says he’s retired but once I said a little something, Chicken Little came out of retirement. So I say that needs to be handled.”
Boxing-MMA crossover fights have been the talk of the internet streets in recent years, ever since Conor McGregor fought Floyd Mayweather in the second-biggest PPV event of all time. But though there is often a lot of smoke with those superfights, none have yet to come to pass, largely because UFC President Dana White is not interested. However, if that’s the case here, Garcia has a plan for that: enlist the assistance of partial UFC owner, Tom Brady.
“If Dana’s not serious about it, I’ll hit up Tom. Tom Brady. Me and him are cool,” Garcia said. “He’s a partial owner of the UFC and I feel like he’s a fan of both sports and I think he’s a fan of both of us. I know he follows me and I know that’s gonna cause interest in him, so I feel like I can hit him up and be like, ‘Let’s make this happen.’ I know that sounds crazy but sh*t, where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Brady was one of a number of celebrities who became investors in the UFC in 2016. He is also, of course, one of the most accomplished football players of all time, and the longtime quarterback of the New England Patriots (before signing with Tampa Bay this year), White’s hometown team. Still, that may not be enough to get White interested in co-promoting another boxing match, especially one with a much lower ceiling than MayMac’s. But Garcia has one final carrot to dangle in front of White: the 21-year old boxer says unlike Floyd Mayweather, he would be willing to compete against Cejudo and get submitted in MMA, just so long as he got to KO Cejudo in the boxing ring first.
“I’ll be the first boxer to do it,” Garca said. “I’m definitely not afraid to take on any type of challenge. I feel like with Henry, of course he’s gonna have some advantages in there but if I put my mind to it, if I land one of these punches with four-ounce gloves, he’s out. And I know what’s his game plan. His game plan is he’ll try to take me down but that’s the big question. So to me it’s like, we can have it whichever way. First, we’ve got to have it in the boxing ring because he called me out. Once I knock him out, as a man I’ll respect him enough and be like, ‘Alright, I’ll hop into your thing now.’ But there’s no way he’ll KO me in the octagon. The only thing he’ll ever do to me is submit me and to me, I’m cool with that. (laughs).”
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Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov is a true martial artist who lives a life of pride, honor and respect. He instilled those same values in his son, world champion Khabib, at an early age and was always in his corner throughout his career. I know how close Khabib is with his father and I’m saddened to hear about his current state. My thoughts are with Abdulmanap and the Nurmagomedov family as he continues to fight
Praying for the recovery of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A man responsible for more World champions, across multiple fighting disciplines, than we even know.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 13, 2020
A true martial genius!
Very saddened upon hearing this news tonight.
Praying for the Nurmagomedov family at this time https://t.co/OVklQphPgN
This was great.
The more you know.
Man it was weird seeing OSP fight at heavyweight, made it seem so much more real for me. Especially knowing he was at 240lbs. With a little more cardio, he would’ve been I was visualizing myself as him that whole fight— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 14, 2020
Seemed so real Francis, all that power means nothing when your hay makers are too slow. I’m not most my friend https://t.co/co6uSqzRSm— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) May 14, 2020
Anthony Smith deserves his nickname (Lionheart). Incredible performance for Teixeira (a 40 years old man). #UFCJAX— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) May 14, 2020
First of all fight should have been stopped WAY earlier and when a fighter walks to his corner and says “my teeth are falling out” throw the towel in. Unreal.— Deron Winn (@DeronWinn) May 14, 2020
Short-notice match making.
Benitez’s shin needs its own only Fans account. pic.twitter.com/c7pTRRKd36— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) May 14, 2020
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
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