UFC bantamweight champ Henry Cejudo was originally expected to make the first defense of his title against Jose Aldo at UFC 250. When that card fell through due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, Cejudo was rescheduled for a title fight with former champ Dominick Cruz on May 9.
According to his manager Ali Abdelaziz, Cejudo is still hoping to defend his title against Aldo after his fight with Cruz.
“At the time we’re in, there’s no such thing as he deserves it or not,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “Listen, let’s be real: Aldo didn’t deserve this by the numbers and by the rankings, but what Aldo has done throughout his career, what Dominick Cruz has done throughout his career, what Frankie Edgar has done throughout his career, and if you want to take these legends, listen, if Henry wins … eight weeks later he said he wants to fight Aldo. If we can get Aldo, he’s gonna fight Aldo.”
This news is not likely to go over well with streaking bantamweight contenders like Petr Yan, Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen, all of whom have arguably earned a shot at Cejudo.
As Abdelaziz suggests, Aldo hasn’t exactly earned a title shot, having lost his lone fight in the bantamweight division. Many fans and pundits feel the same way about Cruz, who has not fought since he lost the UFC bantamweight belt to Cody Garbrandt all the way back in 2016.
When Abdelaziz was asked about contenders like Yan, Sterling and Sandhagen earning shots at Cejudo, he didn’t budge.
“Still, the next opponent is Jose Aldo. It’s none of these other guys,” Abdelaziz said. “This is what he wants, and this is what’s a deal. He told the UFC, but I know Aldo has some travel issues or some visa issues, I don’t know. But also, how are you gonna say no to Aldo? This guy is one of the best lighter weights we’ve ever seen.”
What are your thoughts on Henry Cejudo chasing fights with former champions over his division’s top contenders?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 4/21/2020.