Sunday, September 20, 2020

Benavidez to Cejudo: Defend or Vacate

Joseph Benavidez has had it with “Triple C’s” antics.

Since capturing the UFC bantamweight championship, Henry Cejudo has not been shy on hitting the call-out button, even if the names seemed to be way out of left field, i.e. Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz…Valentina Shevchenko…but one name that has yet to be uttered is the name that has been repeated by UFC President Dana White himself when it comes to identifying Henry Cejudo’s first flyweight defense opponent: Joseph Benavidez.

This omission from Cejudo’s hit list has not escaped Benavidez himself, and the #1 flyweight contender has run out of patience for Cejudo to get down to business and leave the games and gimmicks at home:

“Cejudo is out there being weird,” Benavidez told MMA Fighting. “I actually did comment on one of his things the other day. It wasn’t crazy – I just said, ‘Stop asking who’s next when you’re making videos everyday and you know it’s me.’ You’ve been told it’s me.”

Joseph Benavidez has seen and heard enough from Cejudo to not rule out the possibility of Cejudo not even accepting a fight against him at all. If this were to happen, Benavidez sees only one logical next step for the flyweight division to proceed toward:

“For me, there’s still an option of him not doing [the fight],” Benavidez admitted. “There’s a percentage of that. “‘Triple C,’ I don’t think he’d want to give up a ‘C’ or the chance to avenge a loss, but now it’s working on a timeline. When is he going to be healthy? When can he give a word about defending?

“Because I don’t want to wait until February, and he says he’s ready to fight, but it’s not going to be at 125. That’s what I’m trying to avoid right now.”

“We know the deal — it’s defend or relinquish,“ Benavidez said. “So let’s get a timeline now of when will he have to make a decision to defend. Because I’m OK with waiting, but to what end if it goes past a year and the guy ends up relinquishing the title, when we could have got things going in the division to keep momentum.”

When do you think should be the deadline for Henry Cejudo to defend the flyweight championship prior to relinquishing or being stripped?

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