Cejudo scaled both the bantamweight and flyweight mountains in the UFC before announcing his retirement in 2020. The decision came after “Triple C” successfully defended the 135-pound gold against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249, a victory that marked his sixth straight inside the Octagon.
But despite hanging up his gloves, Cejudo has never truly been out of the conversation, and has often teased a comeback, which has included callouts of multiple fighters. Those teases became more legitimate earlier this year when the 35-year-old re-entered the USADA testing pool.
Having seemingly committed himself to a return, Cejudo is looking to jump the queue for an immediate title shot.
While he’d initially targeted the chance to become the promotion’s first three-weight titleholder by facing featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski, the UFC didn’t appear to pay that request much attention.
Now, Cejudo has set his sights on recapturing the title he vacated two years ago. The bantamweight gold is currently held by Aljamain Sterling, and while it appears that T.J. Dillashaw is the frontrunner to challenge “Funk Master” next, Cejudo has made it clear that there is more than one former champion eyeing the target on Sterling’s chest.
Although the fanbase has appeared largely split in terms of whether Cejudo deserves to return from retirement straight into a championship fight, #7-ranked featherweight Josh Emmett firmly sits on one side of the fence.
During a recent interview with Helen Yee, which came ahead of his crucial main event contest with Calvin Kattar this weekend at UFC Austin, Emmett discussed Cejudo’s potential return.
Given Cejudo’s accomplishments in the sport, as well as his Olympic success, Emmett doesn’t understand how the former champ-champ’s ambitions can be turned down.
“It’s awesome. Cejudo, I was a huge fan of him, wrestling-wise,” said Emmett. “He was like, the youngest American to win a gold medal. I had his wrestling shoes in college. But yeah, I think it’s great. He’s done a lot of things: he was the flyweight champion, the bantamweight champion, he’s an Olympic gold medalist. How can you not give him what he wants?”
While Cejudo maintains aspirations of turning “Triple C” into “C4,” it appears he’ll have to go through Sterling before setting up a superfight with the featherweight kingpin.
Do you agree with Josh Emmett’s take on Henry Cejudo’s return?