Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made the decision to officially postpone all events for the foreseeable future because of COVID-19 after putting a fork in UFC 249, which was set to go down on April 18, 2020 inside Tachi Palace Casino Resort in Lemoore, California.
Of course, Dana White and Co. did have a little push from the higher-ups at Disney to finally fall in line with every other sports organization on the planet (WWE excluded).
While the promotion waits out the current pandemic sweeping the globe to die down — or at least until “Fight Island” is up and running — Henry Cejudo needs to know exact details. As “Triple C” tells ESPN, he and other fighters are spending a lot of money and making sacrifices trying to stay ready for a fight not knowing when they'll be hit with the news of another postponed event.
“I think we need to have a conversation with Dana and everybody there, because you don’t want to train and have them give you a certain date, and then you’re not peaking at the right time,” Cejudo said. “My training is very methodical. Everything I do has to be precise, to make sure I’m 100 percent. You can’t surprise me before, two weeks.
”I need to know today,” he continued. “I don’t have time to waste if this is going to happen. The UFC has postponed a lot of things and people spend their hard-earned money on camps, training partners, strength and conditioning coaches. I imagine whether we fight or not the UFC will compensate a lot of guys who were under contract and had fights.”
Cejudo was set to face Jose Aldo at UFC 250 on May 9, 2020, in Sao Paulo Brazil, but since Aldo was unable to obtain a travel visa, he was replaced by former 135-pound kingpin, Dominick Cruz. Of course, that was a day before the promotion announced the postponement of its upcoming slate of fights.
While yesterday’s proposed match ups may not necessarily be tomorrow’s, Cejudo will be the first to say he’s not too high on signing on the dotted line to fight Cruz given “The Dominator’s” past injury woes.
“I thought about it, with Dominick, he’s unpredictable,” Cejudo said. “He’s too brittle. I’m afraid to sign a contract with him because I’m afraid he won’t show up. Frankie Edgar, he was one of the first people I called out. That’s a fight that’s always kind of given me that appetite for him. He cut to 135, but he’s a former champion at 155 [pounds]. That really intrigues me.”
At the end of the day, “Triple C” understands why UFC is currently postponing events, but when his number is called again he wants the promotion to be 100 percent sure the fight won’t be canceled at the eleventh hour.
“I get what Dana is trying to do for the fighters’ sake, but it’s kind of like, ‘Here, want some pizza? Nope. Want some candy? Nope. We’re professionals. We should be able to know. That’s all I’m saying.”
Cejudo’s anxiousness and irritability is understandable, but UFC — as well as everybody else living on Earth — is at the mercy of coronavirus, which has killed nearly 120,000 people worldwide. And since no one knows when the coast will be clear to resume normal life, White can’t exactly start setting certain dates, especially when Disney and ESPN — as well as state officials — are now stepping in.
According to White, he hopes to have “Fight Island” up and running by mid-May.