With a convincing submission victory over Alex Perez at UFC 255 this past Saturday night, Deiveson Figueiredo may have found a home at the top flyweight in the company. Being the strap holder in the division has given him praise and adulation all around, most notably from ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. With the addition of that comes some detractors like former two-division champion Henry Cejudo. The Olympic Gold medal winner has taken aim at the famed MMA journalist and podcaster about giving too much respect to the 125-lb king.
Cejudo vacated the flyweight championship and retired from the sports, but took the time to voice his displeasure at the Montreal broadcaster about anointing Figueiredo too soon.
One can never say never to a Cejudo-Figueiredo bout somewhere in the future. It may be wishful thinking, speculation may already start about that. It’s apparent that a super fight in a small weight class could be a money grab for both combatants should it formulate. It may also generate more capital for the company. In the meantime, Figueiredo has just more than two weeks to prepare for his fight against Brandon Moreno on December 12 at UFC 256 for that same flyweight championship. Posted on BJPENN.com, Cejudo sounds content with the progress in his MMA career.
“I’ve done everything in MMA. I’m satisfied with my career,” Cejudo told TMZ Sports in June. “There would only be one fight that would really bring me back, that would really wake me up in the morning … it would be Alexander Volkanovski.”
“I want a third title because I want to be different,” Cejudo added. “There’s a lot of champ-champs. Obviously, there’s only one ‘Triple C.’ There’s only one Olympic champ, flyweight champ, bantamweight champion of the world but it’s just to cement it and go in the history books as the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time.”
Should Cejudo make good on his ambitions, this will leave a scar in MMA history instead of the average proverbial mark that many fighters aspire to make while dreaming to even fight in the UFC. As we wait for Helwani’s rebuttal on Cejudo, keep in mind that Figueiredo still has to beat Moreno and continue to climb that ladder of expectations that previous champ and ONE Championship fighter Demetrious Johnson has set for the 20-1 Brazilian scrapper.
As for returning to fight again, Cejudo hasn’t ruled out a comeback if the price is right. He hasn’t been in contact with UFC brass about a return, but if the company reaches him with a large sum, he may be back sooner than later.
“If that lucky number does come up, I’ll be back this year if they want,” Cejudo said in an interview to promote his sponsor Lifted Trucks. “I’m in shape, I’m ready for anything. But I ain’t doing it just because people want to see me fight. I’m doing it because it makes sense for me financially.”
Cejudo has the gold that was expected of him to win, now he’s looking to reinvent himself as a prizefighter. With the right timing, opponent, and, of course, price, he may be a bigger draw than he once was when he first burst into the Octagon scene.