Henry Cejudo may want to change his nickname to “Quadruple C” to account for the massive CUT he suffered on his face, which (understandably) has fans concerned for his fighting future after this prominent lightweight was recently forced to withdraw from his upcoming bout after being struck with a similar gash.
Cejudo is currently booked to battle reigning bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling atop the UFC 288 pay-per-view (PPV) event on May 6 in Newark, which gives the Olympic gold medalist just over five weeks to heal before “Funk Master” tries to bust him back open. In addition, an injury of that magnitude could prevent Cejudo from sparring ahead of his Octagon return.
Fans on Twitter are demanding answers.
So are we gonna talk about the gash on Cejudo’s face? I listened to the clip did I miss the explanation? #UFC288 got a backup???? @SugaSeanMMA ??????— Full Nelson Fight News (@FNFightNews) March 29, 2023
Don’t pull outta the fight.— Boston Sports Club (@SportsclubBOS) March 29, 2023
What's up with that cut— James Braverman (@Braverman420) March 28, 2023
What happened to your face bro?— Craig (@CTH235) March 28, 2023
Don’t expect bantamweight title contender Sean O’Malley to save the day.
“I was really planning on being backup for Henry-Aljo,” O’Malley said on his Timbo Sugar Show podcast (transcribed by Farah Hannoun). “It is so hard. Dude, go and do a camp, five fives, planning on a fight, is hard enough to do knowing you have a fight. But knowing you’re probably not going to fight? I can’t train the same way. I don’t feel like I’m in a position to where I’m like, ‘Well, it’s my only opportunity to be a backup.’”
You can also factor in the puny paycheck that comes with being a backup fighter.
“I was trying, but now I’m at the point where I’m like, f*ck that. One of those dorks pulls out, reschedule it. I need a real eight weeks where I know I’m fighting. It’s too hard to be that disciplined. You can’t be that disciplined all the time. They’re five weeks out. If I got the call, I’m not ready to do five f*cking fives. I haven’t been doing every possible thing that I could be doing, so I’m pulling out from backup fighter.”
As of this writing there are no plans for the UFC 288 headliner outside of Sterling vs. Cejudo, so hopefully “Triple C” can get healed up within the next few weeks and return to full training. That said, you can expect the tender flesh on his face to have a big red target around it for Sterling, who will no doubt look to exploit any and all potential weaknesses.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 288 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 288: “Sterling vs. Cejudo” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.