Olympic gold medalist, UFC bantamweight champion, and former flyweight titleholder. An almost unrivalled career résumé. It seems Henry ‘Triple C’ Cejudo has called time on his professional mixed-martial-arts career.
In the co-headliner of UFC 249 last night, Cejudo managed the first successful defence of his bantamweight champion, dismantling Dominick Cruz for nearly two whole rounds – before scoring a late stoppage via strikes. The Californian wrestler then shockingly, during his post-fight interview seemingly announced his intentions to walk away from the sport – a real leftfield admission.
“I actually kinda wanna make an announcement, man” Cejudo explained. “Uncle Dana (White), UFC, everybody, thank you so much, Hunter Campbell, all the UFC staff. Joe (Rogan), I’m happy with my career. I’ve done enough in the sport. I wanna walk away. I wanna enjoy myself. I’m 33 year’s old. I have a girl now – Amanda who’s watching back home. I eventually wanna start a family. Since I was 11 year’s old I sacrificed my whole life to get to where I’m at today, I’m not gonna let no one take that from me, so, I’m retiring tonight, Joe. I’m 33 year’s old, I’m happy with my career. Again, Uncle Dana, I wanna say thank you for everything, you’re the man. Everybody here, Heidi. Thank you so much, man. ‘Triple C’s’ out, you don’t have to hear my ass no more.”
Cejudo, in a post-fight press conference, was asked by MMA Junkie reporter, John Morgan, when he came to the conclusion that he wanted to retire. The Eric Albarracin trainee explained how a recent shoulder surgery and some time off after his vacant bantamweight win over Marlon Moraes last summer – gave him time to contemplate his career.
“I talked to my mentor, Dave Zowine – especially after my shoulder surgery, I had that time off and – man, I love freedom, this is why you guys saw me at a lot of UFC events like I enjoy that stuff,” Cejudo revealed. “Since I was eleven year’s old, I’ve probably had about six-hundred competitions of wrestling matches in my life. That’s all I’ve ever done man. I don’t have kids – I finally got a girl now (laughs).“
“But, it’s been a – I wanna step into that new chapter of my life. I’ve been extremely selfish – rightfully so, to have obtained what I’ve obtained. Can I say it again, guys? Olympic champ, flyweight champ, and bantamweight champion of the world, and I defended both titles. Man, I wanna leave on top. I did it with wrestling, now I wanna do it in the sport of mixed-martial-arts. I just, don’t see myself coming back, man. I wanna be king forever.”
The Arizona based champion further reiterated how he wanted to begin a new chapter in his life, however, revealed that Dana White knows the “number” that could lead to an Octagon return in the future.