Henry Cejudo won’t return to the UFC unless he receives a significant bump up in pay.
Cejudo (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC), a former UFC dual champion, retired after retaining his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz in May 2020. The Olympic gold medalist wrestler has teased a potential comeback ever since, but he refuses to re-enter the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency testing pool unless he’s compensated better by the UFC.
In order to make his point, Cejudo took a dig at UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Jorge Masvidal, who both recently signed new, lucrative contracts.
“Money talks, bullsh*t walks, and I’m not walking,” Cejudo said in an interview with The Underground. “I’m not signing up to USADA until I really get what I deserve. They are gonna give Israel Adesanya, who doesn’t know how to do a damn moonwalk, can’t win a second belt, can’t defend a takedown to save his life. Or Jorge Masvidal they are gonna give money. He’s got 17 losses in his career, dude, and they can’t give the ‘Triple C’ some of that cash?”
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“Triple C” is convinced the UFC is handpicking which fighters to pay. Although he didn’t mention exactly how much he’s been asking for, Cejudo said he’s willing to put his coaching career and other duties to the side just to compete again.
“The money is not worth the legacy, but my legacy is unblemished,” Cejudo said. “Yeah, Khabib just got inducted to the Hall of Fame, but not even his credentials match up to mine. I got another belt on top of that, and on top of that I have an Olympic gold medal. I prefer that over 29-0 any day, and I love Khabib.
“The reason why I’m saying that is because it’s different, you know what I mean? I guess I’m not that company guy. I’m that freakin’ black sheep that’s just trying to make money. I’m not saying to start a union here. What I’m saying is pay me. I want that green, I deserve that damn green. Every man for himself, and that’s the way I see it.”
Chasing a third UFC belt has been one of Cejudo’s biggest lures to come back. He’s called out featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski on numerous occasions, but if not Volkanovski, Cejudo is interested in one other name.
“The two fights that really come to mind if I do end up coming back is Max Holloway,” Cejudo said. “If they’re not gonna give me Alexander ‘The Average’ for a belt, give me Holloway. If they want me to fight somebody to get into that title fight then give me Holloway. Give me Holloway. I know I can beat him and then I get Alexander ‘The Average.’ But I want to get compensated for that.”
Photos: Henry Cejudo through the years
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