Henry Cejudo Reveals The Reason He Chose To Fight Dominick Cruz
Henry Cejudo has been receiving a lot of slack recently for his choice in opponents. The Olympic gold medalist was scheduled to defend his UFC bantamweight title against Jose Aldo, a man coming off a loss, this weekend in Brazil at UFC 250. However, coronavirus inflicted changes, ‘Triple C’ will now defend his belt against Dominick Cruz this weekend, at the newly scheduled UFC 249.
Cruz is also coming off a loss and hasn’t fought in almost three and a half years. The reason for choosing Aldo and Cruz? Well according to Cejudo, because there are no clear number one contenders in the UFC bantamweight division.
Speaking on this week’s media call (as transcribed by MMA Junkie), opened up on exactly why he chose to fight Cruz at UFC 249.
“Dominick was my first choice, since the beginning I wanted to fight [him],” Cejudo said. “I thought it was a great storyline – we’re both from Arizona, he’s a great champ, I beat the number one contender Marlon Moraes, and there was really not a concrete number one contender after I beat Moraes.
“My original plan was to fight him, but then I saw the fact that Jose Aldo did a good job with Marlon Moraes, who was the No. 1 contender. I went with Aldo, but I told Dominick, Dominick should stay on the lines because if anything happens, you’re the guy that I want next. And it just turned out to be that Jose Aldo couldn’t get a visa and that allowed Dominick Cruz to get back in. But he was always part of the plan and now we’re going to scrap.”
Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan have both criticised Cejudo for ducking the top guys in the 135lbs division. But ‘Triple C’ has a message for both of his rivals.
“Wait for their chance, wait for the king to tell them to bend the knee,” Cejudo said. “Aljamain Sterling got knocked out by a guy that I knocked out, so wait in line. And Petr Yan needs to learn better English. He absolutely sucks and you can’t beat a 41-year-old and expect a title shot – that’s just ridiculous. I rather fight someone who hasn’t fight in four years.”
Yan was scheduled to fight Moraes next month at UFC Kazakhstan but the card has now been cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It looks likely to be rescheduled for Dana White’s Fight Island. And according to ESPN‘s Ariel Helwani, there could be another huge UFC bantamweight title contender fight coming up, with Sterling being lined up to face Cory Sandhagen on June 6th.
“I reported Tuesday that the UFC is hoping their June 6th will be able to take place at the Apex in Las Vegas, but that hasn’t been finalised yet because the Nevada State Athletic Commission isn’t up and running. Nevada opening up would be a gift from above for the UFC because it would be easier running all the events there, and I suspect whenever Nevada opens for business many events will take place. Amazingly, that card is a month away and we still don’t know what the main event will be. Will it be Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer, or something bigger? One fight that has been discussed for that card is Aljamain Sterling vs Cory Sandhagen, which is a potential number one contender fight at 135, but it hasn’t been signed yet.”
Cejudo hasn’t fought since winning the UFC bantamweight title at UFC 238, stoping Marlon Moraes late in the fourth round.
Who do you think will win the UFC 249 co-main event between Henry Cejudo and Dominick Cruz?