Former two-weight world champion, Henry ‘Triple C’ Cejudo may have vacated his undisputed flyweight championship in December of last year, but the retired former bantamweight champion and Olympic gold medalist has claimed current 125-pound best, Deiveson ‘Deus Da Garra’ Figueiredo is only “babysitting” the flyweight throne in his absence.
Cejudo, who shockingly announced his retirement from professional mixed martial arts back in May following the successful retention of his bantamweight championship via a late second-round knockout of former titleholder, Dominick Cruz, has yet to feature in the Octagon since, despite widespread rumblings of a career comeback.
The Arizona native was initially scheduled to meet with former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo at a UFC 250 event in May until VISA issues amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented Aldo’s travel to Jacksonville on short-notice. Clashing with Cruz, Cejudo scored his single title retention, before stunningly hanging up his gloves.
Despite continuous links to a retirement snapping comeback opposite the likes of undisputed featherweight best, Alexander Volkanovski, Cejudo has instead given his thoughts on flyweight champion, Figueiredo – whom just so happens to rule the roost over the former’s one-time 125-pound stomping ground.
“The only reason Deiveson Figueiredo’s there ( as flyweight champion) is because of me,” Cejudo said in a recent interview with The Schmo and Helen Yee over the weekend. “To me, he’s the lord of nothing. I’m the one that gave him that position. I’m allowing him to babysit my belt and he’s being a pretty good babysitter in my eyes.“
Scoring his single title defence of the flyweight throne in the main event of UFC Fight Night Brooklyn in January of last year, Cejudo finished then bantamweight best, T.J. Dillashaw in just over thirty-seconds with a barrage of strikes.
While Figueiredo scored his first successful title defence opposite Alex Perez in timely fashion as well at UFC 255 in November, Cejudo has predicted the Brazilian will drop his title to number-one contender, Brandon Moreno on December 12th. at UFC 256, although, didn’t care to offer much praise to the Mexican challenger.
“I’m still a fan of the sport. I enjoy watching these guys but I think more than anything, I’m actually a critic,” Cejudo explained. “Every time I watch the fights I just look at the things the fighters are doing wrong and when I see that, even with Deiveson (Figueiredo), this is why I think he’s gonna have a hard time and may potentially even lose to Brandon Moreno. All you have to do with a guy like Deiveson Figueiredo is make him grapple for that first round because he’s cutting a lot of weight. By the time that second, third round hits he’s gonna start having that heavy muscle. So I’m actually gonna pick Brandon Moreno – which, he sucks too – but I’m gonna pick him to beat Deiveson Figueiredo.“
Moreno, who of course used to share the mat with Cejudo, would be wise to capitalise on an “old school” approach to weight-cutting from Figueiredo if he’s to be crowned the new flyweight champion on December 12th. according to the former titleholder.
“It’s because he cuts a lot of weight and he’s gonna feel that,” Cejudo said. “Remember, it’s not so much the weight, it’s the fatigue that comes in with losing that weight and I still think he’s a little old school with how he does it. So if I was Brandon (Moreno), I would capitalise on that. We’re gonna have a new flyweight champion. I do believe Brandon is gonna beat him. Plus, he used to train with me too, but he knows who the boss is.“
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.