Henry “Triple C” Cejudo (15-2) has been on a remarkable run. The double champ has taken out everyone in his way to get to the top of the Flyweight and Bantamweight divisions. There are many fighters who want the next shot at Cejudo, however it’s unknown who will be next. He is believed to be sidelined for the rest of 2019 after undergoing shoulder surgery in June. It’s not certain when he will return. With that being said, let’s take a dive into who might get called whenever he’s back.
Urijah Faber (35-10) showed everyone why he’s a Hall of Famer. “The California Kid” made quick work of Ricky Simon (15-2) this past Saturday at UFC Sacramento. It was a storybook return for Faber, as his 46 second knockout was the quickest finish of his career. After that, he wasted no time responding to Cejudo’s call out from UFC 238: “It’s funny, I think Henry Cejudo called me out a little bit ago…Henry, I remember ten years ago when you challenged me to a fight as a friendly gesture, and I’m down to get in there and mix it up.” It didn’t take long for the champ to reply as he instantly tweeted: “Careful what you wish for my corn-rolled princess. You could be the next legend to bend the knee to Triple C.” The two have continued to go back and forth over social media, showing a mutual interest in making this fight happen.
Joseph Benavidez (28-5) is the #1 ranked Flyweight contender, currently riding a three fight win streak. In addition to being the top contender, he’s the last man to defeat Cejudo. He won their only fight via split decision back in 2016. After his TKO win over Juissier Formigia (23-6) at UFC Minneapolis, he let it be known that he wants the rematch: “They call me Joey two times. I beat Ortiz two times, I beat Formiga two times, next beating Cejudo two times…that’s the fight to make.” Being one of only two men to take down Cejudo, Benavidez arguably has the strongest claim for the next shot. Their first fight was extremely close, and you’d have to think a rematch would be no different.
Aljamain Sterling (18-3) is the #2 ranked Bantamweight contender. Ahead of him at #1 is Marlon Moraes (22-6), who just fell victim to Cejudo at UFC 238. Therefore, you could say Sterling is the new top contender. “The Funk Master” has been red hot, being undefeated in his last four fights. He thinks very highly of his chances against Cejudo: “I think I posses all the talent in the world to compete with Henry…I’m too long, I’m too rangy, I can box, I can kick, I can wrestle, I can do jiu-jitsu. So where does he win? I like my chances in that one.” If Cejudo doesn’t want to cut back down to 125, Sterling should be the next Bantamweight to fight for the 135lb belt.
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