2008 Beijing Olympics freestyle wrestling gold medalist and former UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo (36, USA) returns after three years and aims to recapture the UFC bantamweight title.
Cejudo will challenge bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling (33, USA) at UFC 288: Sterling vs. Cejudo, which will be held at the Newark Prudential Center in New Jersey, USA on the 7th (Korean time).
I came to retrieve the belt that was never stolen. Cejudo retired after making his first bantamweight defense against Dominic Cruz (38, USA) at UFC 249 in May 2020. It was because he had nothing more to accomplish.
Cejudo claims to be one of the greatest fight sports fighters of all time. He participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics when he was 21 years old and became a gold medalist in freestyle wrestling (55kg class). He has since turned to MMA, becoming the 2018 Flyweight (56.7kg) Champion and the 2019 Bantamweight (61.2kg) Champion.
He calls himself ‘Triple C’, meaning he has been champion three times.
The reason why Cejudo, who said he had nothing to achieve anymore, came back to win the fourth title by defeating featherweight (65.5kg) champion Alexander Volkanovski (34, Australia) to become a ‘Quadruple C’.
In the meantime, Cejudo has consistently demanded from the UFC that he can come back if given a fight with Volkanovski. Last year, when his teammate “Korean Zombie” Chan-seong Jeong (36) challenged Volkanovski, he even appealed to him for a title shot.
However, when he was denied permission from the UFC, he decided to regain the bantamweight title first. Cejudo sees current champion Sterling as a warm-up for Volkanovski.
At Media Day held on the 4th, Cejudo said, “I think sterling is an easy way to make money.” He continued, “I know there are times when I really have to leave. Now I am 36 years old, still young and in good shape. I like challenges,” he explained the reason for his return.
Cejudo is thinking of challenging Volkanovski at featherweight via Sterling and Sean O’Malley (28, USA).
“Volkanovski is the best challenger I want,” said Cejudo. After dealing with Sterling and O’Malley, I’ll go for Volkanovski. He wants to fight him in his backyard, Australia,” he revealed.
But Sterling is not an easy opponent. At UFC 267 in 2021, Sterling received a lot of suspicion when he accidentally became the champion after receiving a foul knee kick from then-champion Pyotr Yan (30, Russia).
However, at UFC 273 in April of last year, he defeated Yan by decision, and in October, he defeated former champion TJ Dillashaw (37, USA) by TKO in the second round, and began to be respected as a champion.
Sterling looks down on Cejudo, the “human,” but respects Cejudo, the “fighter.” He said, “Cejudo is a shriveled guy. He criticized his opponent, saying, “I think he lacks social skills,” but said, “But other than that, I respect Cejudo as a player.”안전놀이터
“Cejudo is a fighter who does amazing tricks. “Maybe Cejudo is underestimating me. That will be his weakness on match day.”
In the co-main event on this day, Belal Muhammad (34, USA), ranked 4th in the welterweight ranking, and Gilbert Burns (36, Brazil), 5th, will face each other. The goal of the two fighters is to win this time and steal the welterweight title shot that Colby Covington (35, USA) was supposed to receive.
The UFC 288: Sterling vs. Cejudo main card will be broadcast live on TVING from 11:00 am on the 7th. Undercard will be broadcast live on the same platform from 9:00 am.