Former UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, who also held gold at 135 pounds, has re-entered the USADA testing pool with the intention of making his MMA comeback against reigning featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski.
That’s according to retired UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen.
“I asked him point blank, ‘Henry for sure, are you coming back?’” Sonnen said on YouTube. “He said ‘Chael, I’m in the USADA pool, I’m training twice a day, I’m ready to go. I want Volkanovski.’
“I said ‘I know you want Volkanovski but Volkanovski’s already got an opponent and it’s not you, so are you willing to get in there?’ And that’s where it was hard to get an answer. He for sure was willing to tell me that after he beats Volkanovski, he’s going to stick around and defend the belt for a few years. He was also very confident to tell me if he lost to Volkanovski, he’s going to stick around and take on the contenders then.”
UFC President Dana White recently silenced any talk of Cejudo coming out of retirement and competing for the title in his first fight back, suggesting “Triple C” would need to first eliminate a couple of top contenders who already earned their spots.
“‘Henry, will you take on the contenders before you get a shot at Volkanovski?’ I couldn’t pin him down,” Sonnen continued. “But I can tell you that look in Henry’s eye, he means this, this is real. For you Cejudo fans out there, be happy, you’re getting your guy back. “
“135, as recently as one week ago, was on the table. He’s telling me nope, it’s 145. And he’s telling me, ‘I’m gonna get Volkanovski.’ Let’s see where this goes. I feel good in telling you, Henry will be back.”
Cejudo walked away from MMA after stopping Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 back in early 2020. In the two years since he’s been gone, the Olympic gold medalist has been teasing a potential comeback — but never seemed willing to nail down a definitive weight class.
With the flyweight division (and its grueling weight cut) seemingly off the table, I’d rather see Cejudo fight Petr Yan if “No Mercy” defeats Aljamain Sterling at UFC 273 in April. That said, it sounds like “Triple C” is steadfast in his commitment to 145 pounds.