Henry ‘Triple C’ Cejudo – is out. Those are the words of the former UFC flyweight, and now former bantamweight kingpin. The 33-year-old Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling was removed from the official division’s rankings and pound-for-pound list yesterday evening – with the 135-pound championship, vacated. In a social media post this evening, Cejudo’s retirement has all the makings of a permanent one.
Following his career-capping victory over Dominick Cruz on May 9th. in the co-headliner of UFC 249 – Cejudo dropped a major bombshell to promotional colour-commentator, Joe Rogan. The Arizona based all-rounder announced his decision to retire from mixed martial arts, with immediate effect. It was a decision marred with speculation, although according to UFC leader, Dana White – it was a decision that had been barreling down the tracks for some time.
Taking to his official Instagram account this Monday evening – Cejudo thanked the aforementioned White, before confirming his decision to walk away from the sport.
“Thank you for the awesome experience uncle @danawhite I will forever be grateful. Thank you for taking a chance on the sport that people thought would never make it. To all my coaches and fans it (sic) been a wonderful ride. Tripe C is out 🎤 #retiredontop”
Cejudo made his professional debut back in March 2013 – taking an undefeated record of 6-0 into his Octagon debut against Dustin Kimura. Three victories later, Cejudo – still under the moniker of ‘The Messenger’ would stand opposite all-time flyweight great, Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson – losing via first-round knockout in his premier title tilt with the promotion. Failing to rebound against Joseph Benavidez in a dubious decision in his next outing, Cejudo would go on to finish Wilson Reis with strikes and take a unanimous decision of his own against Sergio Pettis.
Reaching the summit – the Californian would rematch Johnson, taking a close split judging win – as well as 125-pound gold. In his first defence, he welcomed T.J. Dillashaw to the division on the promotion’s first ESPN card last January. Lodging his first and last defence, Cejudo would finish Dillashaw inside the opening forty-seconds. Moving to bantamweight, he met with Marlon Moraes for the vacant crown – rallying after a dominant display from the Brazilian, to earn his ‘Triple C’ nickname via late third-round ground-and-pound.