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Morning Report: Henry Cejudo is interested in fighting Max Holloway: ‘I’m just too smart and just too skilled’

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Last year, after successfully defending his UFC bantamweight title, Henry Cejudo retired from MMA. Since then, the former two-division champ has appeared anything but retired on social media, consistently talking trash to the newly crowned champions at both flyweight and bantamweight, and even attempting to pick a fight with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. Now, Cejudo has opened the door for yet another possible opponent, former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.

Speaking with ESPN recently, Cejudo spoke about the possibility of returning to the UFC and why a fight with Holloway would interest him.

“I have never called out Holloway,” Cejudo said “Even when he had the belt, I have never called out Max Holloway. But he’s another fight that I feel like in the future I would love to fight because people would not believe me that I could beat him because he’s so damn tall and what he’s been able to do. I love the challenge. I love the fact that people do not believe that I can beat him.

“I think that Max Holloway fight, because nobody would believe me, is the same reason why I would want that fight. He’s taller than me. He’s inflicted a lot more damage on different people. But I feel like I’m just too smart and just too skilled and I love the challenge if I were to ever fight Max Holloway.”

Holloway is of course no longer the featherweight champion, having lost his title to Volkanovski and then losing a controversial split decision in the rematch. Holloway’s most recent performance though was sensational, a savage beatdown of Calvin Kattar in January. That win possibly lines Holloway up for a third shot at Volkanovski, should the champion retain his title against Brian Ortega next week, and if he does, Cejudo will be rooting for Holloway in the trilogy bout.

“I think my IQ, I think my smartness (is my advantage),” Cejudo said. “Of course, he has range. It would be the distance. This is the thing, watch my Dominick Cruz fight. Look at how much taller he is than me and look at how I was able to manage the distance, taking his legs out, the timing portion of it. I think it’s just my IQ. … I personally feel that there’s no doubt in my mind that I can beat him.

“I would love for Max Holloway to win that belt again. I would love to go in there and fight him and to demonstrate to the world how great ‘Triple C’ is. I don’t dare to be great. I am damn great.”

Unfortunately for Cejudo, the UFC seems content to let their former two-division champion exit the sport. Unlike a similar situation with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov where UFC President Dana White has done everything possible to get another fight out of their champion, the UFC was quick to accept Cejudo’s retirement, booking a vacant title fight just two months later. However, Cejudo believes that the UFC could be interested in a fight between him and Holloway, in part because unlike Volkanovksi, who has shown limited interest in fighting Cejudo, he believes Holloway would want to shut him up.

“I think so and I think somebody like Max Holloway is like, ‘Hey, I want to hurt this kid,’” Cejudo said. “Whereas Alexander Volkanovski is like, ‘Is that little twerp, is he still talking?’ Max Holloway would be like, ‘Hey man, this is time for me,’ and I like that. I like the fact that I’d be a huge underdog but the ones that truly know would be like, ‘I’ve got all my money on Cejudo.’

“At the end of the day, to me, it all goes back to tactics. I can beat anybody in the world. I truly do believe that and I’ve demonstrated that. I’ve been an underdog for so many fights and I’ve proven so many people wrong. You may not like me, but you do have to respect me.”


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FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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