Thursday, December 8, 2022

MMA Tracker: Major Joanna Jędrzejczyk & Henry Cejudo Updates

Good morning, MMA fans! Welcome to the MMA News Tracker! Here are some of the latest happenings across the world of MMA.

Henry Cejudo vs. Aljamain Sterling Awaiting Signatures?

During a media scrum on Thursday, Aljamain Sterling doubled down on his interest in fighting Sean O’Malley next instead of Henry Cejudo.

This prompted Cejudo to share a rather interesting claim, which is that he has already been sent an official contract to fight Sterling in Perth, Australia at UFC 284 on February 12.

“I’ve been sent a contact from the UFC to fight ALJOLAME Stalling in Perth Australia. This dude is doing literally everything to avoid me. Man up pussy.”

Aljamain Sterling has dismissed Cejudo because he states that the division has passed him by in the two years since Cejudo has been retired. However, Cejudo has been back in the USADA pool for months now, and Dana White himself mentioned the Olympian as a potential next opponent for Sterling during the UFC 280 post-fight press conference.

Keep it locked right here on MMA News for additional updates on this developing story.

Justin Gaethje Involved In Accident Prior To UFC 274

Justin Gaethje
Image Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

At UFC 274, Charles Oliveira defeated Justin Gaethje in the main event in what would have been his second title defense had it not been for his weight miss that left the title vacant. Oliveira earned the win via second-round rear-naked-choke, which made for the second time Gaethje came up short in a world title bout.

However, during a media scrum on Thursday, Gaethje revealed that he came into the fight already compromised after a bicycle accident (h/t MMA Junkie).

“My dumb ass, 18 days before I fought Charles, I was riding my bicycle to the gas station to get some nicotine pouches and I had like a vicious crash on my bike,” Gaethje told reporters, including MMA Junkie at a news conference on Thursday. “Smoked my head off the road, road rash all down my back, and then go in there and take that damage I took in that fight. That’s why I’m taking so much time off.

“It’s just crazy what we go through. Each and every one of us has different circumstances that we go through. That was such a hurdle in my last (fight). As soon as it happened, I had to go home and act like it didn’t happen. Act like my vision didn’t go 100 percent f*cked up for two seconds. That’s what we’ve been doing since we were kids, you put that doubt aside. As soon as it happened, it’s like, ‘OK, what do I do next? How do I continue to improve and continue to be ready for this fight?’”

Justin Gaethje is aiming to make his Octagon return at UFC London in March 2023.

Glover Teixeira Reveals Stomach Issues Prior To UFC 275 Loss Against Procházka

Glover Teixeira

Justin Gaethje was not the only fighter to come into a world title fight compromised earlier this year. According to former UFC light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira, he had an upset stomach during his weight cut that he was unable to fully recover from ahead of his bout against Jiří Procházka at UFC 275 (h/t MMA Fighting).

“The weight cut was not hard,” Teixeira explained on Thursday. “The weight cut it was just the way they did it there, waiting around for six and a half hours. Later on, as soon as I started drinking, I started throwing up. It took me a while to start eating again and recover…

“For sure, in a five-round fight, that makes a difference,” Teixeira said. “I’m not saying it would make for a different result. It could be the same but for sure, a five-round fight, no doubt that will mess you up.”

Fortunately for Teixeira, he will have a chance to do it again when he attempts to recapture the light heavyweight championship next month.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk’s Comeback Teases Grow Louder

Joanna Jędrzejczyk
(Zuffa LLC)

Earlier this week, Joanna Jędrzejczyk admitted that just weeks ago, she nearly called the UFC matchmakers regarding a return to the Octagon.

During a media scrum on Thursday, the former strawweight queen now sounds full-on regretful of her decision to retire, stating that neither she nor her fans were ready for her exit.

As such, she admits that she “sometimes” thinks about giving her fans “one last dance,” ala Frankie Edgar this weekend at UFC 281. You can listen to Joanna share her thoughts below in the following clip. (h/t MMA Fighting)

What would you place the odds on a Joanna Jędrzejczyk comeback right now?

An Empire-Sized Faceoff

Israel Adesanya got his fair share of faceoff practice on Thursday. First, he put ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith in his place during a faceoff on the set of First Take. Then, he engaged in in the following epic faceoff at the top of the Empire State Building against his UFC 281 opponent Alex Pereira.

Israel Adesanya Controls The Narrative

Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya has frequently been vocal about controlling his own narrative and has been critical of the MMA media in the past. Judging from this piece written by the UFC middleweight champion, he may have a future as a writer when his career is done.

In a feature titled, “There Will Be Blood,” Israel Adesanya describes his warrior mentality, which was on display in his epic battle against Kelvin Gastelum in 2019 and that will again be unfurled this weekend. Below, you can find an excerpt from the piece.

I know I’m fighting Alex on Saturday, and people want to bring up his kickboxing wins against me. I get that. But people are going to be reminded real quick who I am. And I’m talking who I am now. I’m not the same guy I was five years ago. If Alex doesn’t know that, he’s going to find out the hard way — I promise you.

I think that what people don’t realize is, the guy I was back then … I wasn’t just fighting opponents. I was fighting my mind. I would get frustrated during fights, and I’d force myself into mistakes, just because of my thoughts. I didn’t have that pure focus. I learned that from my losses to Alex. Back then, I could fight, believe me. I had him where I wanted a couple of times. But when I couldn’t finish him, my mind got caught up in it. It would just race ahead of my body, you know what I’m saying? And then I’d slip up.

That’s where I’m different now.

You can read the full piece right here.

Want to suggest a correction or provide other feedback? Contact the editor at [email protected]!