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Morning Report: Dana White tells Henry Cejudo how he can go about getting a title fight

Dana White
Dana White

It sounds like Henry Cejudo still isn’t going to be getting a title fight anytime soon, but Dana White is at least willing to point him in the right direction on how to change that.

Cejudo, who has been calling for a fight with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski for the better part of a year, renewed those calls earlier this month when Max Holloway was forced out of a scheduled bout against Volkanovski due to injury. However, his pleas fell on deaf ears, with White dismissing the whole thing as a “f*cking silly conversation.” Cejudo did not agree and has since taken continuous shots at the UFC and Dana White over their refusal to even consider the fight. But for all his bluster and public posturing, White says that Cejudo has not taken any real steps towards actually making the fight a possibility - primarily, actually talking to UFC matchmakers and getting back into the USADA testing pool.

“The thing is, Cejudo is retired,” White told Yahoo Sports. “There’s a way to go about it if you really want to fight, if that’s what you really want to do, you want the Volkanovski fight. What you don’t do is - I mean, you could. You could go online and start talking to Volkanovski and calling him names and all this stuff, but what you’d really have to do is pick up the phone and call and say, ‘Hey, what’s the procedure I need to follow to get back into a fight? I want to unretire and when can I get back into the USADA pool? How fast and what do I need to do?’ That’s how you get a fight.

“His manager (Ali Abdelaziz) has 280,000 fighters under contract in the UFC, Cejudo’s been here forever. If you really want to fight, get down here and make some calls and say, ‘Hey, what do I need to do to get back in to fight? I want to jump back in.’ That’s how you do it. You don’t call people out and call them names on Twitter and then expect we’re gonna pick up the phone and go, ‘Hey, we’ve got a fight for you!’”

Cejudo retired from the UFC in 2020 following his successful title defense of the bantamweight belt against Dominick Cruz. Following his retirement, Cejudo exited the USADA testing pool and once an athlete leaves the testing pool, USADA requires that for the athlete to return to competition, he or she must provide written notice of their intent to return and submit to six months of testing before being allowed to compete again. It’s this fact which has led some to speculate that Cejudo has no intention of returning to the cage and that his social media campaign is merely an exercise in self-promotion. But, White says, if Cejudo is being genuine, then his path forward is extremely clear.

“Then get it done,” White said. “You know how to do it. Have your manager call over here and get the deal done. That’s why I was saying the other night and the media is saying, ‘Well, Henry Cejudo said this and this guy said that,’ - it’s a silly conversation. This is ridiculous to even talk about. You’re asking me about a retired fighter that isn’t anywhere near coming back, to take on Alexander Volkanovski, who is in a different weight class, in a short notice fight. Why are we talking about this? How does this make sense?

“If you really want to fight, get on the phone with your matchmaker and get the ball rolling.”


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FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


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