Henry Cejudo knows exactly how he wants his comeback tour to unfold.
The former two-division Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion is officially back in the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool, meaning he can return to action as soon as he’s ready. Cejudo retired in May 2020 after a successful Bantamweight title defense. Therefore, he’s hoping to immediately reinsert himself into the championship scene upon his return.
At UFC 280 next weekend (Sat., Oct. 22, 2022), the title is on the line when Aljamain Sterling is challenged by T.J. Dillashaw, an old Cejudo foe. Despite already jockeying for the Sterling bout in recent months, Cejudo now hopes Dillashaw can reclaim the gold.
“I’m going for T.J.,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “In the beginning, I was going for ‘Aljo,’ but I don’t think Aljamain wants to fight me and I think there’s a bigger storyline with me and T.J. So I come back, beat the brakes off of him, win my belt, go up to 145 pounds then beat the brakes out of Alexander ‘The Average’ [Volkanovski]. That’s the plan.”
Cejudo’s first and only title defense as Flyweight champion came against Dillashaw in Jan. 2019. In just 32 seconds, “Triple C” put way the then-Bantamweight kingpin, Dillashaw, with strikes (watch highlights). Afterward, Dillashaw was stripped of his title and suspended for two years after failing a USADA test thanks to the usage of the performance-enhancing drug (PED), Erythropoietin (EPO).
Dillashaw has fought once since serving his suspension, defeating Cory Sandhagen via a closely contested split decision in July 2021 (watch highlights). While Cejudo’s mission is clear, UFC has given no indication as to what Cejudo’s return bout could look like, but UFC President, Dana White, hasn’t appeared keen on the idea of an instant title shot.
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