Thursday, December 8, 2022

Cejudo Names Future Women’s Flyweight Champion

Former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo has named one woman as a sure-fire future flyweight titleholder.

Cejudo, who held both 135 and 125-pound gold before retiring from MMA in 2020, has remained an active presence in the sport through both teases of a return and a developing coaching role.

At Fight Ready in Arizona, “Triple C” has worked with a number of names, including UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jiří Procházka, legendary 205lber Jon Jones, former strawweight queen Zhang Weili, and reigning Bellator featherweight titleholder Cris Cyborg.

As well as a number of stars, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist has also looked to pass his knowledge of the sport onto some rising prospects, one of whom is #13-ranked UFC women’s flyweight Tracy Cortez.

Since a submission loss in her professional debut back in 2017, Cortez has won 10 straight, including a narrow decision victory over the highly touted Erin Blanchfield under the Invicta FC banner prior to her Octagon arrival.

And since joining the UFC, the 28-year-old Phoenix native has had her hand raised four times, with Vanessa Melo, Stephanie Egger, Justine Kish, and Melissa Gatto all falling to the surging prospect.

Now, having risen into the flyweight top 15, Cejudo believes it’s only a matter of time before Cortez reaches the top in the UFC.

Cejudo: ‘When Cortez Wants To Be Champ, She’ll Be Champ’

During a recent Q&A on his YouTube channel, former champ-champ Cejudo was asked to make a prediction for Cortez’s next outing. At UFC Orlando on December 3, she’ll go up against relative flyweight newcomer Amanda Ribas.

The matchup will likely represent Cortez’s stiffest test to date, especially given how the Brazilian performed against #1-ranked contender Katlyn Chookagian in her return to the division at UFC Vegas 54 this past May.

Nevertheless, Cejudo is unsurprisingly backing his pupil to get the job done at the Amway Center.

“I gotta go with my girl Tracy Cortez. I like Amanda Ribas, too, she’s cool as hell. But Tracy trains at my gym,” Cejudo said. “She’s under the guidance of myself and my brother. And I think she will get the victory, I really do.”

Cejudo went on to discuss the heights that he envisions Cortez reaching during her UFC tenure, providing a glowing assessment of her potential on the sport’s biggest stage.

“I think once Tracy really decides that she wants to be a world champ, she’ll be a world champ,” Cejudo predicted. “But until she decides that, it’s gonna be different.”

If Cortez is to move closer to the title, currently held by Valentina Shevchenko, she’ll have to add only the fourth loss to Ribas’ 14-fight record. The Brazilian has defeated Paige VanZant, Virna Jandiroba, and Mackenzie Dern during her UFC career, and still occupies the #9 spot at strawweight.

With that said, the UFC Orlando contest will be far from a walk in the park for Cortez, meaning that if she emerges victorious, perhaps more will take notice of Cejudo’s latest remarks.

This story originally appeared on MMANews.com. Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.

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