Henry Cejudo Says He’s Fighting Dominick Cruz Because Bantamweight Has No True Top Contender


UFC Bantamweight Champion Henry Cejudo defends the gold against former UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz in the co-main event of UFC 249.

Cejudo says the reason that Cruz got the title shot is because the UFC Bantamweight Division doesn’t have a true top contender.

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“Dominick was my first choice, since the beginning I wanted to fight (him),” Cejudo said during the UFC 249 Conference Call (via Danny Segura of MMA Junkie). “I thought it was a great storyline – we’re both from Arizona, he’s a great champ, I beat the No. 1 contender Marlon Moraes, and there was really not a concrete No. 1 contender after I beat Moraes. My original plan was to fight him, but then I saw the fact that Jose Aldo did a good job with Marlon Moraes, who was the No. 1 contender. I went with Aldo, but I told Dominick, Dominick should stay on the lines because if anything happens, you’re the guy that I want next. And it just turned out to be that Jose Aldo couldn’t get a visa and that allowed Dominick Cruz to get back in. But he was always part of the plan and now we’re going to scrap.”

Cruz hasn’t competed in over three years and he isn’t even ranked in the top fifteen of the UFC Bantamweight Division.

Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling are two of the top ranked fighters in the weight class, but Cejudo says they have to wait their turn.

“Wait for their chance, wait for the king to tell them to bend the knee,” Cejudo said. “Aljamain Sterling got knocked out by a guy that I knocked out, so wait in line. And Peter Yan needs to learn better English. He absolutely sucks and you can’t beat a 41-year-old and expect a title shot – that’s just ridiculous. I rather fight someone who hasn’t fight in four years.”

UFC 249 takes place on Saturday, May 9 from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida with Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.

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