Whilst originally penned for the headliner of UFC 250, a bantamweight championship pairing between, Henry ‘The Messenger’ Cejudo, and Dominick ‘The Dominator’ Cruz is still expected to take place on May 9th – as the promotion look to push ahead with events, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Former flyweight and current bantamweight best, Cejudo, was initially scheduled to meet with two-time undisputed featherweight champion, José Aldo ‘Jr.’ at the event, originally penned for São Paulo, Brazil, but now faces the former 135-pound pack leader, Cruz. Per an initial report by ESPN’s, Brett Okamoto – the UFC will continue with their plan for Cejudo vs. Cruz on May 9th, with a location and venue currently undisclosed.
San Diego native, Cruz, is expected to make his first walk since his UFC 207 defeat to Cody Garbrandt back in 2016 – replacing Manaus favorite, Aldo – who was denied a work visa due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Expert strategist, Cruz, was briefly linked to a UFC Fight Night San Diego homecoming opposite the surging Cory Sandhagen in May also but has since been installed in place of Aldo.
Eric Albarracin product, Cejudo, will attempt to make the first defense of his bantamweight title, following a vacant gold triumph over Marlon Moraes in June of last year. The Olympic gold medalist has a star-studded Octagon résumé, which includes former flyweight best, Demetrious Johnson, and former bantamweight gold-holder, T.J. Dillashaw.
Like Cejudo, Cruz also held the trump card when paired with Johnson and Dillashaw – as well as notching wins over Joseph Benavidez (x2), Urijah Faber (x2), Takeya Mizugaki, Brian Bowles, Ian McCall, and Scott Jorgensen.