Saturday, August 13, 2022

Johnson Names The “Toughest Test” For Cejudo’s Return

Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has given his take on who the toughest opponent would be for Henry Cejudo upon his return to the Octagon.

After ascending both the flyweight and bantamweight mountains, and defending his place on top of both, combat sports great Cejudo hung up his gloves. The decision came following his stoppage victory over Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 in 2020.

But despite entering retirement, a return always appeared on the cards, whether through reports on the rumor mill or the 2008 Olympic gold medalist’s own interactions with fighters. And after stepping both up late last year, “Triple C” officially re-entered the USADA testing pool earlier this year ahead of a planned comeback.

While he appears closer than ever to another appearance in the cage, it’s unclear who Cejudo would face were he to commit to a return. After UFC President Dana White dampened his hopes of competing for three-weight glory at featherweight, Cejudo adjusted his targets to his old stomping ground, laying eyes on bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling and even Sean O’Malley.

But one of Cejudo’s former opponents thinks that if he’s to find his toughest test, his original callout was the one to do it…

Johnson Identifies FW King As “Mirror Image” Of Cejudo

During a recent interview with The Schmo, Demetrious Johnson, who went 1-1 against Cejudo inside the Octagon before joining ONE Championship, assessed the former champ-champ’s options.

While “Mighty Mouse” ultimately believes that “The Messenger” has the capabilities to defeat anyone put in front of him, he did identify reigning UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski as the toughest test for him, largely through their similarities.

“Henry’s a smart, intelligent guy. He has the skillset to beat any of one of those guys. For me, I believe everybody’s beatable,” Johnson said. “I think Volkanovski would be the toughest test, because I think it would be a mirror image. Volkanovski understands the game, he’s tough, he’s gritty, and he’s gonna come to compete.”

And though he went on to admit that he’d like to see Cejudo “earn” a shot at a title in a third weight class, a sentiment shared by Dana White, Johnson noted that if he had to choose an opponent out of the names brought up by “Triple C,” it would be the Australian titleholder.

“Me as a fan, I’d like to see Henry get back in there and get — he’s already in the USADA pool, let him get back in there and let him get like, a fight, one fight, two fights, right, and then have him fight Volkanovski,” Johnson suggested. “But if I had to choose out of all those guys that he wants to fight, sh*t, just give him Volkanovski… But I’d like to see Henry earn it.”

Having recently added a third victory over Max Holloway to his record, Volkanovski appears to be stepping up his chase of two-division glory. While that may leave a seemingly bantamweight-destined Cejudo further below “The Great” for the time being, the Aussie’s commitment to defend both belts actively should he achieve his ambitions could open the door for “Triple C” to try and make history.

But it appears he’ll need to recapture the 135-pound gold first, which will be no easy feat given the stacked nature of the division.

Do you agree with Demetrious Johnson’s thoughts on Henry Cejudo’s expected return?

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