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Morning Report: Henry Cejudo’s manager expects ‘Triple C’ to fight this summer

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

Nine days ago, UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo stopped Dominick Cruz to retain his title at UFC 249. Afterwards, Cejudo made a surprise announcement, retiring from the sport. The announcement was so unexpected that many suspected it was part of a larger negotiating tactic by Cejudo for more money from the UFC. If so, that strategy may have taken a hit as Cejudo’s manager recently revealed that he doesn’t think “Triple C” will actually hang up the gloves.

“First of all, people understand my relationship with Dana White and the UFC. I don’t talk about money publicly,” Ali Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports over the weekend. “I think Dana’s right: I think Henry’s been talking about retirement. Do I think Henry’s gonna retire? Absolutely not. I don’t think Henry’s gonna retire.”

“Khabib (Nurmagomedov, who Abdelaziz also represents) right? Every time he fights, ‘I think I’m done.’ Two weeks later, ‘Who do you think I should fight next?’ Right? These guys, they’re at their prime. Henry’s gonna be coming now in his prime. How you gonna retire in your prime, and the pay-per-view did so well, and you’ve gotta make some money? Could things be changed a little bit? Yes, of course. But at the end of the day, this is between us. It’s between me and Henry and the UFC. I don’t think the media should know about this stuff, because people’s egos get big.”

Cejudo has made his pay a point since winning the flyweight title from Demetrious Johnson in 2018. The Olympic gold medalist immediately began asking for big money fights from the UFC and adopted a much more outspoken persona in an effort to increase fan interest. But despite his continued success, Cejudo seemingly has still had issues generating the fan interest he would hope for, and as such, the Conor McGregor-style paydays have not been forthcoming from the UFC. McGregor himself has parlayed retirement talk into new deals with the UFC, and many suspect Cejudo was attempting to do the same.

And it could be working. Despite UFC President Dana White seemingly being okay with Cejudo’s retirement, Abdelaziz estimates the bantamweight champion could be back in action in just a few months.

“Henry’s got everybody on their knees right now,” Abdelaziz said. “I don’t think he’s gonna retire. You’re gonna see him fight by this summer. This is what I think.”

But if Cejudo does come back, who his opponent would be is difficult to say. Cejudo was previously set to face Jose Aldo at UFC 249 before the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that, and there are no shortage of viable contenders in the 135 pound division, though pole position would seem to favor Petr Yan as Dana White declared he would be one half of the title bout to fill Cejudo’s would-be vacant title. But Cejudo has other ideas.

Speaking with Logan Paul last week, Cejudo said the one fight that could get him interested in coming back would be an opportunity to become the first ever three-division champion in UFC history.

“Honestly, if there’s one fight that really will wake me up, that would be worth it for me to be like, ‘Hey man, I’m willing to put my credentials on the line for somebody,’ it would be fighting Alexander Volkanovski at 145 pounds. Then I’d be C4.”

With all this smoke, it seems like Cejudo’s retirement may not be a retirement after all.


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VIDEO STEW

UFC on ESPN 8 Post Show.

Coffee Talk: Florida Fight Week.

UFC Post Fight Presser.

Kevin Randleman’s video package.

The UFC is featured prominently in this Last Week Tonight segment.

How good was Henry Cejudo?


LISTEN UP

6th Round. Immediate post-fight reaction to UFC on ESPN 8.

Severe MMA. Discussing UFC on ESPN 8, judging in MMA, and the Hall of Fame.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Class.

Truth.

Disrepect.

Pretty wild.

WTF, Anthony Smith.

The man is Wolverine.

Call out.

Another call out.

On brand.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

N/A.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Honestly, screw it - do Cejudo vs. Volkanovski. Volkano doesn’t need to rematch Max Holloway again immediately and it would be kind of cool to see if Cejudo could actually become a three-division champion.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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