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Dominick Cruz ‘would love’ to welcome back Henry Cejudo, says he can’t jump to title fight: ‘He’s not at the top anymore’

UFC 249 Cejudo v Cruz Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

Henry Cejudo has garnered the attention of many in recent months as we await his expected return (details here).

Declaring he’ll be coming out of retirement and wade back into the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) pool following UFC 273, Cejudo will have to be tested for six months until he can compete again in the Octagon. The last time we saw the former UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight champion was at UFC 249 in May 2020 opposite Dominick Cruz, where he retired immediately afterward.

A former titlist himself and widely considered the 135-pound division’s all-time best, Cruz (24-3) has gotten back to his winning ways since dropping a controversial second round technical knockout loss to “Triple C.” Because of how the fight ended, “The Dominator” has been itching to get that one back.

“I don’t really want to talk much about him because he’s not even in the testing pool,” Cruz told Helen Yee. “But, I’m gonna say if he makes it through that next six months of USADA — remember, he jumped out of the testing pool so he had no pressure on him, he wasn’t building any division, he just took a break. Sat on his hands, got fat, got lazy, maybe did whatever he wanted outside of the testing pool. Now he’s getting back into the testing pool which means he wants to get back into a competitive mindset.

“Think of a [Francis] Ngannou; Ngannou blew his knee out and he stays in the testing pool and stays putting the pressure on himself to hold the division up,” he continued. “If you leave and you retire, you’re relieving yourself the pressure, you’re not in a competitive mindset. You don’t get to jump right back into the top. You get to jump to the back on the line. So, if he does make it through the next six months testing clean, I’d love to be the first person that he faces to end up back in the division because he’s not at the top anymore. He retired, he’s all the way in the back, I don’t care what he’s done. The way that our last fight went, there needs to be a rematch because it wasn’t clear.”

With Cruz’s two recent victories coming in 2021 over the likes of Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz, he fully intends on fighting sooner rather than later in 2022 and getting one step closer to becoming a three-time UFC Bantamweight champion.


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