MEXICO CITY – Henry Cejudo is unsure who will be his next opponent. But until then, he’s going to keep generating as many cringes as he can.
While there are a number of potential challengers for the bantamweight and flyweight champion to square off with next, the UFC hasn’t spoken with him or his team about which direction they’d like to go in next, Cejudo told MMA Junkie on Friday ahead of Saturday’s UFC on ESPN+ 17 card.
As he recovers from a torn subscapularis suffered in his bantamweight title-winning effort against Marlon Moraes at UFC 238, Cejudo believes he’ll begin training in November. The timeline will set him up for a March bout against his next challenger.
In the meantime, Cejudo hopes the UFC doesn’t implement an interim belt at either flyweight or bantamweight. If they do, Cejudo said he won’t be fazed as he’ll still be the best in the world.
“I think interim belts are silly, I really do,” Cejudo said. “If somebody is complaining or wants an interim belt, they can do it. For me, they can have fifty of them. It doesn’t mean you’re the best in the world. It just means you’re the next person in line. We know in the UFC, that hasn’t been the case. That’s fine. You can have an interim belt.”
Over the past few weeks, UFC president Dana White has repeated his belief that flyweight Joseph Benavidez will be next for Cejudo. The option hasn’t been presented to him, according to Cejudo, but the champion said he respects Benavidez and wants to treat him fairly.
“Again, Dana White isn’t weighing 160 pounds,” Cejudo laughed when he mentioned dropping weight. “I need to speak to him and I do need to be fair to Joe. I need to be fair to the rest of the division, because I don’t want to keep two divisions in limbo. We’re going to have that conversation. Once I have that conversation with Dana, you guys will all know.”
As far as the rest of 125-pound division is concerned, Cejudo isn’t impressed. The self-proclaimed savior of the flyweight division expected other fighters to try to step up and do their best to promote fun matchups.
“One thirty-five is full of more color,” Cejudo said. “I’m disappointed with the flyweights, too… Nobody is really bringing that persona, nobody is really talking smack, nobody is really trying to compete. So again, I did my part and I’ll continue to do my part. It’s up to these flyweights to step it up and keep this division alive.”
At bantamweight, Cejudo was asked about a potential matchup with Aljamain Sterling. In typical “King of Cringe” fashion, Cejudo joked about Sterling’s last name.
“Aljamain Curling? Make him curl again? The only reason I want to fight Aljamain Sterling is because ‘Triple C,’ he doesn’t mess with sterling silver,” Cejudo said. “It’s all gold for me. So Aljamain Sterling if you’re watching this, you can do me a favor and you can bend the knee to ‘Triple C,’ too.”
From there, Cejudo turned his attention to rumors of a potential drop to bantamweight from former featherweight king Jose Aldo. Once again, Cejudo isn’t impressed.
“Jose Aldo can drop down all he wants,” Cejudo said. He’s going to bend the knee to ‘Triple C,’ too. I’m on a legend rampage. I’m a GOAT killer. I’m a PED killer. I’m the greatest of all time. Nobody in the UFC has my credentials. I should start being respected for it.”
To hear more from Cejudo, click on the video linked above.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Henry Cejudo tells flyweights to do their part, Aljamain Sterling and Jose Aldo to 'bend the knee'