Former UFC 3rd ranked pound-for-pound fighter Henry Cejudo has not disappeared from the public sphere despite retiring. He beat Dominick Cruz via a 2nd round TKO at UFC 249 and proceeded to drop the bombshell. Now, the former fighter sheds light on the thought process behind his original opponent as well as the short term replacement.
Cejudo was originally penciled in to fight Jose Aldo at UFC 250 and then UFC 249. He planned to beat arguably the greatest Featherweight champion and add him to his list of Demetrious Johnson and T.J.Dillashaw who he saw as the greatest Flyweight and Bantamweight respectively. However, as Aldo couldn’t leave Brazil due to coronavirus travel restrictions, ‘The Dominator’ stepped in.
In a chat with ESPN on ‘Now or Never’, ‘The Messenger’ revealed why Cruz was an equally motivating fight. He said, “The only reason why I did go with Dominick is because he chipped me one time. When I was going to fight Demetrious Johnson (in 2016), I had called him to ask for advice cause he’s the last man to beat him. I believe at that time and I wanted to know how you know if there’s any points he could give me.”
Cruz beat Johnson at UFC Live: Cruz vs Johnson in 2011. This marked ‘Mighty Mouse’s final defeat till ‘The Messenger’ snapped his 13 fight win streak at UFC 227. However, Cejudo was part of the win streak and went down in a Flyweight Title fight at UFC 197.
The 33-yer-old revealed that Cruz was rude to him on the phone and in-person too. He said, “And he was rude over the phone a little bit. Then he saw me in person… this is after I lost and he kind of just shook me in front of people. At first, I thought maybe …I was just overreacting. But then I thought about it and was like, no man you don’t do that to Triple C. You don’t do that to anybody.”
‘The Messenger’ concluded, “So he was on my hit list since then and I was always happy to take him out in 2 round, to say the least.”
Following the UFC 197 defeat, he went down to Joseph Benavidez at TUF for his last professional loss. Since then, ‘Triple C’ went on a 6 fight win streak that included triumphs over Johnson, Dillashaw, Moraes, and Cruz. The fighter found a way through his own experiences, got his own over Cruz as well as stamped his name in UFC history.
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