Over the last few months, UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo has hinted at bantamweight showdowns with stars like Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar, Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt. He has not, however, made any mention of plans to defend his UFC flyweight title.
From the sounds of it, UFC President Dana White is getting a little fed up with the way Cejudo is tying up the flyweight division. He’s hoping to see Cejudo drop back down to the 125-pound weight class to defend the title against Joseph Benavidez. And if ‘Triple C’ isn’t willing to do that, it sounds like he could be stripped of his flyweight belt.
“Right now, we have some things playing out at 135 pounds,” White told MMA Junkie. “What we’d like to see Cejudo do is defend his title against Benavidez. Benavidez is ready. It’s the right thing to do. If he can’t, then he needs to give up one of the belts.”
Joseph Benavidez, to remind, is the last man to defeat Henry Cejudo, having bested the current flyweight champ with a hard-fought split decision in 2016. In White’s eyes, Benavidez’s previous win over Triple C adds some zest to a potential flyweight title rematch.
A Cejudo flyweight title defense also gives the complicated bantamweight contendership situation some time to sort itself out. The top-end of the division is currently quite crowded, as Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan have both seemingly earned title shots, while Urijah Faber, Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo all figure to be in the conversation too.
“We’re playing some things out to see who’s going to be the next challenger at ’35,” White said. “Benavidez is ready to go. He deserves it, and he’s got a win over Cejudo.”
Do you think Henry Cejudo should be stripped of the flyweight title if he doesn’t defend it against Joseph Benavidez soon?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/21/2019.