Former UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo also competed at flyweight, so he understands the agony of pushing your body to the absolute limit. He also understands what it’s like to fail spectacularly on the scale, having missed weight multiple times throughout his MMA career.
That’s why the Olympic gold medalist is weighing in — pun definitely intended — on the UFC 279 gong show earlier this month in Las Vegas, featuring Khamzat Chimaev and his inability to make the welterweight mark.
Not only did it force the promotion to rework the entire event, it cast a long shadow over the Chechen’s future at 170 pounds.
“You won’t come back, if you don’t get your shit together, you won’t come back and ever make that weight again, trust me,” Cejudo told Helen Yee. “Even if you have big balls, you won’t make it because when you’re off that much — just imagine, he’s struggling to make 178. He gave everything he had, his coach said his tongue was wide, he was vomiting, all that other stuff. I’ve been there before. He’s going to have to really tweak his training. He’s probably training too much and that’s allowing his metabolism to eat more. There’s a way of doing it where you can still make weight, still feel good, while you’re not overworking your body, because even though you’re working your body, you can also miss weight. I used to do that, that’s the only reason why I say that.”
Chimaev was able to stay on the UFC 279 fight card and promptly disposed of Kevin Holland in a special catchweight attraction. “Borz” is no stranger to victories at middleweight but his No. 3 spot in the welterweight rankings has Chimaev within striking distance of the 170-pound title.
It remains to be seen where the 12-0 Chimaev, still just 28 years old, ends up in his next outing. The welterweight title will be decided in the trilogy fight between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman early next year, while Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira settle their differences at 185 pounds in November.
Until then, all “Borz” can do is train and eat which according to Cejudo, may be the crux of his problem.