Henry Cejudo, now the UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion, could be out of action for quite some time. After a busy start to 2019, he’s gone under the knife to repair a torn subscapularis muscle, and his recovery could keep him out of action for the remainder of the year. This according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
Cejudo sustained this shoulder injury in his UFC 238 bantamweight title fight with Marlon Moraes. After a rough opening round, Cejudo gradually took control of the fight, and ultimately finished his dangerous Brazilian foe in the third round, winning the vacant bantamweight belt.
The bantamweight belt was left vacant after the former champion, TJ Dillashaw, tested positive for EPO and was suspended for two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Dillashaw, coincidentally, was Cejudo’s first opponent of the year. Dillashaw dropped down to flyweight to challenge Cejudo for that division’s belt in January, losing by TKO in less than 30 seconds.
Prior to his massive stoppage victories over Moraes and Dillashaw, Henry Cejudo captured the UFC flyweight belt with a controversial decision defeat of MMA legend Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who was subsequently traded to ONE Championship. With this victory, Cejudo improved to 1-1 against Johnson, having been knocked out in the first round by the long-time champion several years ago.
When Cejudo returns to the cage, he’ll do so to a crowded bantamweight contendership picture. The top contender at present is most likely Aljamain Sterling, who was unsurprisingly disappointed to learn of Cejudo’s lengthy recovery timetable.
“Line up the next one,” Aljamain Sterling wrote on Twitter in response to this Henry Cejudo news, punctuating his comment with a suitable emoji. “Just another day in the office!”
While Sterling is likely the most deserving contender of a bantamweight title shot, Henry Cejudo recently set his sights on Cody Garbrandt, Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber — any of whom could conceivably jump the line.
Who do you want to see Cejudo fight when he’s all healed up?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 6/20/2019.