Henry Cejudo has the chance to do what many have dreamed about and that’s getting a second crack at a failed opportunity to earn UFC gold as he is slated to challenge Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title in the co-main event of the upcoming UFC 227 pay-per-view event, which will be headlined by a rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt for the UFC bantamweight title.
If you recall, there is some history between Cejudo and Johnson. Cejudo earned a shot at the title at UFC 197 but lost to Johnson via first-round TKO.
Since then, Cejudo got back to his winning ways as he got back in the win column with a bonus-winning second-round knockout of Wilson Reis at UFC 215 and then at UFC 218 when he scored a decision win over Sergio Pettis. In a recent interview, Cejudo made it clear that he believes he’s the guy to dethrone Johnson at top of the UFC flyweight division.
“It’s the challenge, man, more than anything,” Cejudo told MMA Fighting. “Because quite frankly, I thought I was going to beat Demetrious Johnson in that first fight. I’m a confident human being and I really did believe I was going to do that, and what happened is he humbled me. It’s like, ‘Hey, man, you’re not ready yet. You’re still green. You’ve got potential, but you’re not ready yet. Not now.’ And to be able to swallow that big pill was humbling to me. Being humbled is a good thing.”
“Long overdue,” Cejudo said. “I feel like I could be that. I feel like I could be that [person who shakes things up]. And Demetrious Johnson has been a great champion, man, I can’t take anything away from that. But the reason why I need to go in and beat this guy is because we need another storyline. This is how legends are born. This is how weight classes will be appreciated, seeing the pound-for-pound guy go down. And eventually some day, it may happen to me, but it’s, a torch is passing.
“The torch has not passed for so long. The general public, they get bored. There’s no interest because they think or they know Demetrious Johnson will always win. And I’ve always said, even after that loss to Demetrious Johnson, even after he beat me, I said I felt him a little bit. I still believe I can beat him, even after being knocked down the first round. That’s just how I still feel. Even despite the way I went out, I still feel like that.”
The UFC 227 pay-per-view event is set to take place on Saturday, August 4, 2018, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
The main card will air on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET while the preliminary card will air on FX at 8 p.m. ET and the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.
“Olympic champ, UFC champ. You would call me the champ champ champ,” Cejudo said, laughing. “Absolutely, and this is something that I could call out the UFC and Dana White and everybody in the sports world to let them know, ‘Hey, I just beat the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. Give me the next guy. Give me the next best thing. Let me go up a weight class.’ I’m all about the challenge. I’m all about it, man. I wouldn’t be in this game if it wasn’t challenging.
“But at the end of the day, I’m not even thinking about going up because I have a big task at hand, and that’s Demetrious Johnson. We’re here to dethrone the mouse.”