Although the rankings would tell you otherwise, Henry Ceujdo believes that there is no clear contender for his UFC Bantamweight Title. That is one of the many reasons he has decided to defend his belt against the returning Dominick Cruz at UFC 249.
During a UFC 249 media call this past week, Cejudo (15-2) discussed his plans to fight established fighters who either haven’t fought in a long time or are on losing streaks. One of the reasons is for him to show just how dominant a fighter he can be. The former UFC Flyweight Champion is ready to face a former two-time UFC Bantamweight Champion in Cruz, who was considered the best in the division at one point.
“I’m on a legacy rampage, and I feel like Dominick is one of the guys I can remember that made a big name, that kind of paved the road for a lot of us little guys,” Cejudo stated. “Tha’s another reason why I wanted to fight him. I want to continue to add big names to my hit list and continue this legacy rampage.”
Other names on Cejudo’s hit list include Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Cody Garbrandt, and Urijah Faber. in regards to Aldo, the two were originally booked for UFC 250 in Brazil. Aldo, who is on a two-fight losing streak and lost his bantamweight debut against Marlon Moraes, ended up out of the fight and Cruz stepped in.
“My original plan was to fight him (Cruz), but then I saw the fact that Jose Aldo did a good job with Marlon Moraes, who was the number one contender,” Cejudo went on to say. “I decided to go with Aldo, but I told Dominick, ‘Dominick, stay on deck. If anything happens, you’re the guy I want next.’… Jose Aldo couldn’t get a visa…But he (Cruz) was always part of the plan.”
Cejudo made his professional debut as a bantamweight. He then made it to flyweight and contended for the UFC Flyweight Title. He beat Moraes for the Bantamweight Title at UFC 238. Cejudo faces a guy in Cruz whose last fight was against Garbrandt at UFC 207 in 2016. Cruz is now back and ready to lock up a statement he made on the call.
“I am the Michael Jordan of MMA,” Cruz stated.
While Cejudo was egging Cruz on about collecting an unemployment check, he also ran down the competitors within the division he believes aren’t worthy to fight for his title.
“Aljamain Sterling got knocked out by a guy that I knocked out, so wait in line,” Cejudo stated. “And Petr Yan needs to learn better English, he absolutely sucks. He can’t beat a 41-year-old (Faber) and expect to get a title shot. That’s just ridiculous.”
All scores will be settled on May 9. Will Cejudo be able to avoid the other bantamweights for long? UFC 249 takes place this weekend inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.