Henry Cejudo is feeling lost ahead of his potential comeback.
The former dual-division Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion hung up his gloves following a May 2020 Bantamweight title defense against Dominick Cruz. This year, Cejudo returned to the United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA) testing pool in preparation for a hopeful return to action.
Cejudo, 35, has been extremely vocal about his desire to become “Quadruple C” by winning the Featherweight title off of the current champion, Alexander Volkanovski. Unfortunately for Cejudo, Volkanovski is currently in Abu Dhabi for UFC 280 this weekend (Sat., Oct. 18, 2022), working as the Lightweight title fight backup should something go wrong. After that, Volkanovski is expected to challenge for the 155-pound title, assuming he doesn’t at UFC 280.
“[I’m] a little pissed, a little down, I guess you could say it,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “It just only gives me one option. Maybe I could fight Alexander in Australia? That’s the only thing that I could think of. And if it is meant to be that I’ll never fight again for that reason if they’re just gonna stall me out like that then that’s all there is to it.
“I’m satisfied,” he continued. “I’m full with my career. Me making a comeback was just to make history. Like yeah, I did talk a lot of s—t to Dana [White]. But I still respect the crap out of [him]. Even if I never ever fight again. I just want you to know that from the bottom of my heart.”
UFC returns to Australia — Volkanovski’s home country — in Feb. 2023, where the promotion will certainly hope to have “The Great” fight. With the Featherweight division presumably needing to sort out its next top contender between Yair Rodriguez and Josh Emmett, Cejudo would make for a fun — or interesting — option to challenge Volkanovski in the meantime.
Aside from fighting for a title, there is, however, one former champion who Cejudo feels would make for a fine alternative to lead to that desired crack at 145-pound gold.
“I just won’t fight for anything other than gold,” Cejudo said. “‘GSP’s’ [Georges St-Pierre] had the opportunity. A lot of people who have come back and won the belts like Brock Lesnar. I put myself not only in that category but even beyond that. I defended both my belts and if that’s how it is with ‘Uncle Dana’ then that’s what it is and I can literally say goodbye and I’m okay with that. I would still love to make history, I’ll still be ready at whatever point in time, but I’m just a bit bummed out to be quite honest.
“[A Max Holloway fight] would be the only fight prior to a Volkanovski fight [I’d take],” he added. “Like, hey, man, just give me the biggest, baddest dude that people think that he can beat me that I’d like to prove myself with. Other than that, I don’t want to fight Yair [Rodriguez]. I love that dude, he’s got a lot of good talent, I don’t want to fight a lot of these guys. I want to fight the best, I want to prove myself. If I go the Holloway route, I’m up for that.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 280 fight card right herestarting with the early ESPNEWS/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10 am ET, then the remaining undercard (also on ESPNEWS/ESPN+) at 12 pm ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 pm ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 280: “Oliveira vs. Makhachev” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.