Friday, September 30, 2022

Dana White Speculates On Henry Cejudo’s Next Title Defense

Henry Cejudo is riding high in the MMA world.

The two-division UFC titleholder picked up his second belt in a come-from-behind TKO finish of Marlon Moraes at June 8’s UFC 238. Adding the bantamweight title to his already-held flyweight gold, Cejudo claimed he was the sport’s new pound-for-pound king. That theory isn’t necessarily getting much resistance either.

Jon Jones, the fighter who many believe should occupy that rarified air, recently conceded the P4P throne to ‘Triple C.’ However, Cejudo’s momentum recently came to a crashing halt. He was forced into shoulder surgery that could keep him out of action for the remainder of 2019. That obviously throws a wrench in his plans to defend both titles, a dynamic few, if any, elite fighters have been able to accomplish.

Only One Way To Defend In Two Divisions

During a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto (via BJPENN.com), UFC President Dana White stated he believes Cejudo could defend both of his titles. But he obviously has to stay healthy, something he is not as of now:

“The question is if you find the right guy, which I believe that Henry is just like I believe Amanda could defend both belts that she has, it’s about staying healthy. There’s no question this guy could do it. After that fight with Marlon, wow, blown away by the performance that he had. And he can defend both, but you can’t if you’re not healthy.”

Which One To Defend?

When he returns, it’s unknown if Cejudo will defend the flyweight or bantamweight title first. After finishing the top contender at bantamweight, White speculated there was no reason to cut the additional weight back to 125 pounds:

“I feel like he just beat a killer at [135 pounds]. Marlon Moraes, if you look at what he’s done in his last four fights leading up to the Cejudo fight, the guy is an absolute stud. And the way that Cejudo handled him, I think Cejudo probably boosted his confidence in that fight and why cut that weight if you can stay there? I don’t know that for a fact, I’m just saying.”

The cut to flyweight has certainly impacted Cejudo before. He’s mainly gotten it under control in recent years. There was a time when he was routinely missing weight and was expected to be forced up to bantamweight. Now the lower weight classes are his to rule over.

Yet if both titles go undefended for too long, there will be cries to either create an interim title in one (most likely flyweight) or vacate one (again, most likely flyweight). The 125-pound division could also be dissolved as has been hinted at for quite some time.

Where will ‘The Messenger’s’ career head next following his surgery?

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