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Dana White threatens to strip Henry Cejudo if ‘Triple C’ turns down Joseph Benavidez rematch

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The Ultimate Fighter Finale: Benavidez v Cejudo Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, who also holds gold at 135 pounds, has been enjoying his “Triple C” shtick after combining his two mixed martial arts (MMA) titles with his Olympic gold medal.

And even though Cejudo (15-2) won’t be able to compete until 2020, thanks to recent shoulder surgery, it hasn’t stopped the artist formerly known as “The Messenger” from calling out everyone from Valentina Shevchenko to Jose Aldo.

UFC President Dana White, not surprisingly, won’t take the bait.

“Right now, we have some things playing out at 135 pounds,” White told MMA Junkie. “What we’d like to see Cejudo do is defend his title against Benavidez. Benavidez is ready. It’s the right thing to do. If he can’t, then he needs to give up one of the belts.”

Benavidez (28-5) captured a split-decision win over Cejudo back in late 2016.

There’s a bit of a logjam at 135 pounds, which gives the promotion some flexibility in terms of matchmaking. Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling currently share the Top 5 with surging prospect Cory Sandhagen, who believes he’s championship material after topping Raphael Assuncao at UFC 241.

In addition, Cejudo’s last fight was at bantamweight, so if White and Co. are going to allow “Triple C” to defend both titles, then it makes sense to have him switch back and forth, assuming available contenders exist in both weight classes.