Bruno Silva won’t have Henry Cejudo in his corner this Saturday for UFC Vegas 27 when he collides with Victor Rodriguez at the UFC APEX, but that doesn’t mean “Triple C” is stepping away from the game.
“Bulldog” said Cejudo spent two weeks in Mexico accompanying his pregnant girlfriend Ana Karolina before she was cleared to enter the United States, therefore he couldn’t be part of his camp nor corner him Saturday.
Yet, Silva still expects Cejudo to eventually return to the octagon if the price is right.
“It’s all about the payday, right?” Silva said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “He wants the money. If they pay him what he wants, he’ll fight. He wants to fight, he’s training. Maybe he wouldn’t fight just to fight, but he definitely would for the [right] money. He continues doing some marketing and if a good fight presents itself and they offer him good money, he fights.”
“If there’s a boxing match for a good money, too, he’ll fight,” he added. “It’s all about the money for Cejudo to come back to fighting.”
Cejudo retired from the sport moments after finishing Dominick Cruz in May 2020 and walked away as a two-division UFC titleholder with championship wins over Cruz, Demetrious Johnson, T.J. Dillashaw, and Marlon Moraes.
“You can never doubt him. I believe him,” Silva said when asked if he thought Cejudo could go up to 145 pounds and dethrone Volkanovski. “I believe Volkanovski is a good matchup for him. They’re about the same size.
“And so would Max Holloway. Like we always say, there are no easy fights, it would be a war and we’re talking about the high-level in the UFC, but he has a chance. He’s strong, man. He’s very strong. He’s big now, and I believe he has all the chances to win [a UFC belt] at featherweight too.”
Cejudo was in Silva’s corner back in March, when the Brazilian stopped JP Buys in brutal fashion in Las Vegas. Silva snapped an uncomfortable three-fight winless start in the UFC that night and inked a new deal with the promotion days later.
This time, Silva jokingly celebrates he’s not being booked against “a Russian,” presumably referring to his previous UFC opponents David Dvorak (who actually hails from the Czech Republic) and Tagir Ulanbekov.
“F***, it’s great,” Silva said with a laugh. “Compared to the others, man, only Russians. Now they sent me someone who’s coming off a loss, great choice, but we always say a fight is a fight and we can never underestimate out opponents because a hand or a kick can change everything in there.
“He’s a brawler, he comes out hard for the finish, but I think I’m a level above him technique-wise. I think it’s a good matchup, a good fight for him. [But] technique- and record-wise, he’s definitely a level under the other ones I’ve fought here [in the UFC].”
An underdog in his first four octagon appearances, Bulldog finally enters a UFC bout as the odds-on favorite, and believes it shows fans are starting to realize his talent following a big finish. In the end, however, Silva says “it means nothing because it’s just the two of us in there and the best will win.”
“I see myself knocking him out in this fight. Second round,” Silva said. “There’s not much to say. I’m well-trained, I’m confident, I had a great camp here in America. I have no pressure, so there’s a knockout coming.”
Silva saved the $50,000 bonus he pocketed back at UFC Vegas 22—and may invest on some UFC stock “if it’s going well,” he laughed—and hopes company president Dana White sticks with the $75,000 bonus checks after UFC 262 so he makes extra money this weekend.
“75 Gs, Dana! We have to make something for it to stay 75, man,” Silva said. “Maybe I’ll write something on my chest or forehead, I’ll do something [laughs].”