Cejudo retired following his successful bantamweight title defense against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249. He hasn’t fought since but has teased a potential UFC return to face featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
Cejudo put his name in the sweepstakes to replace Max Holloway against Volkanovski, but Chan Sung Jung (otherwise known as The Korean Zombie) ended up getting the fight over him. UFC president Dana White has remained adamant that Cejudo will need to fight another contender before getting a title shot.
Adesanya and Masvidal both secured new UFC deals ahead of their fights at UFC 271 and UFC 272. Adesanya’s deal has been rumored to be one of the most lucrative in UFC history, while Masvidal’s new deal makes him among the Top 3 highest paid.
Cejudo left the UFC after being in a contract dispute with the promotion. But after getting word of Adesanya and Masvidal’s new contracts, Cejudo isn’t sure why he wasn’t or hasn’t been offered a similar deal.
“Money talks, bulls*** walks, and I’m not walking, I’m not signing up to USADA until I really get what I deserve,” Cejudo said in an interview with The Underground. “They’re gonna give Israel Adesanya, who doesn’t know how to do a damn moonwalk, can’t win a second belt, can’t defend a takedown to save his life, or Jorge Masvidal, he’s got 17 losses in his career, and they can’t give the ‘Triple C’ some of that cash?
“If you really think about it, it’s almost like, why do I do this? If the UFC’s just gonna handpick people to decide to pay, because notice what they’re doing now: a week before the fight, they’re starting to give this big payday to those guys because they want to keep the one-percenters happy so nobody else talks s***. I am those one-percenters, so how come they ain’t paying me?” (h/t MMA Fighting)
Cejudo has helped train top UFC stars such as former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo down at Fight Ready in Arizona. Though it remains unclear whether or not he still intends to return to MMA at some point, he has recently expressed interest in a fight against Max Holloway as a return fight.
If Cejudo ends up returning to the UFC, it’s apparent that the former champion will need a pay raise in comparison to his previous contract. In the meantime, the idea of a super fight between Cejudo and Volkanovski seems dead.
Do you think Henry Cejudo will eventually return to the UFC?