Dana White not sold yet on a Henry Cejudo vs Alexander Volkanovski fight
Following Volkanovski’s (23-1) UFC 266 title defense — an impressive unanimous decision win over top contender Brian Ortega — former two-division champion Cejudo (16-2) has been calling for a matchup with the 145-pound king. He took to Twitter immediately after the fight to campaign for the matchup and then explained his reasoning in a conversation with ESPN on Monday. Telling the outlet that jumping the line into a championship opportunity, at a weight class he’s never competed at, is deserved because of the legacy he has built in the combat sports realm.
“I still think of winning that third belt. I really do think it’s attainable,” Cejudo told ESPN. I think anybody is crazy to count me out. Yea, hate the persona, hate the courage, but dude, facts are facts man. If you can name somebody that’s accomplished more than me in combat sports I will bet anything. But there isn’t, he’s right here. I believe I am entitled to skip the whole damn line and Volkanovski. And you know why? Because I deserve it. I defended my flyweight belt against Demetrious Johnson. I beat TJ Dillashaw, I went up [and] knocked out Marlon Moraes and I defended against Dominick Cruz. The greatest bantamweight of all time. And they’re still gonna doubt me? I don’t get it.”
Dana White no ready to book Henry Cejudo vs Alexander Volkanovski just yet
Without a doubt, those are fair points from the Olympic gold medalist known as “Triple C.” However, despite Cejudo’s multi-division success, and the promotion’s history of booking several fights just like this over the last five years, the UFC boss seemed none too interest in the idea when asked about it at the post-fight press conference for Tuesday’s episode of Dana White’s Contender Series.
“I don’t know. Listen, he retired. You’ve been off all this time and you want to come back and fight Volkanovski?,” White said. “And jump the line, and jump over [Max Holloway] and all these other guys that have been there? It’s a tough conversation.”
What could decide if this fight happens or not will be the November UFC Fight Night matchup between first and third-ranked featherweights Max Holloway (22-6) and Yair Rodriguez (13-2). Fans have clamored for a third fight between the former champion Holloway and Volkanovski, despite the Aussie being unbeaten in the first two highly competitive bouts.
A win for either Holloway or Rodriguez would be a major statement and make them completely deserving of a title opportunity. However, with Rodriguez’s established history of missing big fights and a previous contract dispute with the promotion, it would not be surprising if a decision win from “El Pantera” next month would fall short of earning a title shot. Especially, with Cejudo and his star status waiting in the wings.
Cejudo has not fought since his March 2020 win over Cruz at UFC 249. It was the Mexican-American’s sixth straight win inside the Octagon and third consecutive finish of an elite fighter from the bantamweight division.
What would you rather see? Cejudo vs Volkanovski or the featherweight champ face the winner of Holloway vs Rodriguez?Join the discussion on this topic...