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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Henry Cejudo after suffering second consecutive loss?

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Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 Finale blew the roof off "The Pearl" inside Palms Casino Resort last Saturday night (Dec. 3, 2016) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For complete TUF 24 Finale results and coverage click here.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Tim Elliott, who came short in his bid to dethrone Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson from the top of his throne, despite a valiant effort (see it again here).

And Jake Ellenberger, who suffered one of the most bizarre losses in the history of mixed martial arts (MMA) after his leg got caught in between the cage, ultimately resulting in a technical knockout victory for Jorge Masvidal (full video highlights here).

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?

Henry Cejudo.

Going into his bout against Joseph Benavidez, the Olympic gold medalist looked to check a couple things off his to-do list; with the top priority being put hands on "Joe Jitsu" after the two built a rivalry as opposing coaches on season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).

With a win over Benavidez, Cejudo would inch himself closer to a shot at redemption against "Mighty Mouser" after the 125-pound champion knocked him out in one round back at UFC 197.

While he managed to put hands — repeatedly — on Joseph, it didn’t equate to a victory, as the Octagon-side judges eventually awarded Benavidez the split-decision victory of three rounds of wild action.

Action that saw Cejudo lose a point after kicking his foe twice below the belt. While it isn’t out of the ordinary for a referee to deduct a point, Cejudo is adamant he’s seen worse go down inside the eight-walled cage with no penalty.

"Do I think it’s fair? I’ve seen people get hit in the balls, gouged in the eyes and rarely do you see points get take away," said Henry during the post-fight presser (video replay here).

"As much as I don’t like Joe, I really didn’t mean to hit him in the balls. In a street fight, yes, but not in an organized mixed martial arts (MMA) fight like this. They took the point and that’s probably what cost me the fight," he concluded.

The point deduction wasn’t the worse of Cejudo’s troubles, as he had to sit by an listen to the highly-questionable scorecards, which saw one judge score the fight in favor of Benavidez with a score of 30 to 26.


Now, Cejudo finds himself in unfamiliar territory, as he is staring down the barrel of two straight defeats, jeopardizing his position as one of the highest-ranked 125-pound fighters in the weight class, rankings-wise.

Still, with a few impressive wins, Cejudo can find himself back in the title conversation. That said, for his next challenge I’d like to see him take on someone like Ian McCall. "Uncle Creepy" also suffered a setback in his last outing.

Furthermore, two of his fights were cancelled in the last three months alone, so UFC throwing him a bone and giving him someone like Cejudo would be a nice consolation prize, and a great challenge for both men.