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Henry Cejudo defies edict from Dana White, refuses to fight Joseph Benavidez

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Henry Cejudo is the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight champion, but also went up to the 135-pound weight class and captured gold there, as well. Unfortunately, “Triple C” has been unable to defend either title after undergoing shoulder surgery.

The Olympian is expected back at some point in early 2020.

Promotion president, Dana White, ordered Cejudo to make his first title defense against Joseph Benavidez at 125 pounds — or else — since he last competed at bantamweight and was previously defeated by “Joe Jitsu” when they went to war back in late 2015.

“Dana can say what he wants, and he’s the president and what not, but when you own two weight classes, when you have some kingdoms, I think I have the leverage,” Cejudo told Brendan Schaub (via MMA Junkie). “No one’s going to force me to fight someone that I don’t want.”

Cejudo (15-2) is instead setting his sights on the soon-to-be bantamweight Frankie Edgar, or former 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz, perhaps forgetting that neither combatant is ranked in the division Top 5 (see the complete rankings here).

“Cutting weight is hard for me, man, making ’25 is hard,” Cejudo said. “My debut in the UFC, I didn’t make weight. As much as Joe does have a victory over me … but at the end of the day, it’s cutting the weight, man – especially being up at ’35 and then feeling good, and having a good camp, and just being more happy. Be more happy, literally – like, I cut 25 pounds to get down to ’25. I’m going to end up finishing my career at bantamweight, 100 percent.”

Cejudo, 32, is the winner of five straight and finished his last two fights by way of technical knockout. If he refuses to move back down to flyweight, White is expected to strip him of the strap, creating new opportunities for the folks at 125 pounds.