Aljamain Sterling questions if Henry Cejudo used banned substances during brief retirement: “I wouldn’t put it past Henry”

By Josh Evanoff - May 2, 2023

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has questions about Henry Cejudo’s time outside USADA.

Aljamain Sterling, Henry Cejudo, UFC

‘The Funk Master’ has been out of action since his title defense against T.J. Dillashaw in October. In the co-main event of UFC 280, Sterling scored a second-round stoppage victory to retain the bantamweight gold. Just a few months removed from that win, he’s now eyeing a second straight win over a former champion.

The bantamweight titleholder will return in the main event of UFC 288 this Saturday night. There, Sterling will face former flyweight and bantamweight champion, Henry Cejudo. The fight will be the former champion’s first since May 2020, when he retired following a win over Dominick Cruz.

However, heading into fight night, Aljamain Sterling believes the playing field may not be equal. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, the bantamweight champion admitted that he’s unsure if Henry Cejudo is clean heading into UFC 288. Sterling speculated that Cejudo could’ve used banned substances during his three years out of the USADA testing pool.

Aljamain Sterling

Aljamain Sterling questions Henry Cejudo’s retirement ahead of UFC 288

“I wouldn’t put it past Henry to have taken advantage of his three-year downtime and two years out of the testing pool,” Aljamain Sterling stated in the interview. “I don’t know if I can call it cheating–I don’t know if I can call it an advantage, either.” (h/t Sports Illustrated)

He continued, “He had a break. I’ve been in the trenches. I’ve got my advantages of being active, he’s got his advantages from being off. Nobody was waking him up at six or seven in the morning to test him. It’s hard to answer that one without people saying I’m making an excuse, but it would be naive not to consider it, that Henry would take advantage of an opportunity when he was no longer subjected to any of these protocols.”

“We’ll find out who the better man is. Whatever he’s done, only him and God can answer those questions. I’m going to go out there and prove my work is good enough to get it done.”

What do you make of these comments? Do you agree with Aljamain Sterling? Sound off in the comment section below PENN Nation!

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Aljamain Sterling Henry Cejudo