Henry Cejudo, also known as Triple C and The King of Cringe, has had an interesting year in 2019, a lot of things have happened in a short time span, so let’s reflect to get some perspective on the current situation.
April 23, 2016 – Henry Cejudo is defeated by Demetrious Johnson, aka Mighty Mouse. DJ had been on a terror and defeating everyone while maintaining a 9-fight win streak going into the fight. DJ was able to get the TKO finish with some vicious knees to the body and all-around clinch work. His final Knee to the body after stunning Cejudo put him down and DJ finished with a few shots of ground and pound.
DJ at the time seemed to be on a complete other level then everyone at 125 pounds. Every part of his game was clean. He could grapple with insane speed (A couple fights after this DJ submitted Ray Borg with an armbar while Ray Borg was still in the air from the Suplex) and He could strike with clean technique and excellent timing. He would place his shots strategically and never just swung without a purpose. His fights always seemed like the ultimate chess match and DJ just being a few moves ahead.
Although nobody is perfect.
August 4, 2018 – Cejudo defeats Demetrious Johnson
In a close and controversial fight, DJ lost his title to Cejudo at UFC 227. Some saw it as a robbery, I personally think depending on the judges you could go either way. Henry did do a great job of securing and pursuing takedowns. His pressure and octagon control were closing off DJ to where he was near the cage a lot. This in the eyes of the judges probably showed dominance. DJ did get caught a few times clean but never showed signs of going unconscious. I think other fighters should keep this in mind when playing it safe hoping to win off decision, just because you aren’t hurt doesn’t mean the judge will know that. Not that I think DJ was doing that, but I’ve seen multiple fighters try to win by basically waiting out the clock and stalling in any way they can once they are up on the scorecards. In his post fight octagon interview he said he wanted the winner of the main event, 135 belt.
THIS WAS THE BIRTH OF THE TRIPLE C ERA
Henry had dethroned the seemingly unbeatable force known as Mighty Mouse, but he had his eyes set on more gold.
Henry begins trash talking Dillashaw and the hype for the fight continued to grow.
They sign the contracts to fight but agree to have Cejudo instead defend his belt against TJ Dillashaw. TJ had already been extremely low in body fat at 135. The stress on his body was too much going into the fight and it was afterwards discovered he used EPO ( a performance enhancing drug) to stay operating at 100% during the brutal weight cut.
When the fight was ready to start, the energy was very high because TJ had been looking very dominant since training under Duane “BANG” Ludwig, one of the best striking coaches in the world. Duane and TJ had built a striking system that was slick and effective. TJ was able to get some impressive ko’s.
Now with his first fight at 125, we all wondered whether he would maintain the same knockout power he has at 135. He looked healthy but never can tell how much an athlete has been affected by a weight cut until fight night.
January 19, 2019 – Cejudo defeats TJ via Knockout
In 32 seconds, Cejudo dropped TJ multiple times.
This kick stunned TJ as Cejudo then scrambled for the finish, landing multiple shots. Including this punch that drops TJ the final time before the finishing ground and pound.
In 32 seconds, Cejudo had stopped his seconds opponent in a row that had previously seemed unbeatable. His speed and precision in this fight were on a different level. He didn’t give TJ a second to recover once he stunned him, just upped the pressure to where TJ could never get back to a relaxed state. For 32 seconds, it’s crazy how much chaos happened.
Now after beating TJ, Cejudo agreed to rematch him but this time for the 135 belt, which he was after all along. TJ agreed, USADA did not.
March 20, 2019 – TJ is stripped of his belt after failing USADA test. USADA (drug testing company for UFC) found a banned substance (EPO) in TJ Dillashaw test.
Due to the failed test, TJ was forced to give up his 135 belt. This left a power vacuum in bantamweight. Of course, Cejudo would fight for it but against who? Marlon Moraes.
June 18, 2019 – Henry Cejudo defeats Marlon Moraes at UFC 238
Going into this fight, Cejudo had 5 back to back wins. With 2 being DJ and TJ, this gave Henry a lot of confidence going into this 135-title fight. Moraes had a 4-fight win streak and had just redeemed his only loss in a rematch against Raphael Assunção. Once the fight started Marlon did a great job to control distance with his leg kicks and was even able to avoid some takedown attempts from the Olympic gold medal wrestler himself, Triple C. Marlon was doing very well but eventually he did seem to start to lose some energy and slowed down some. Cejudo capitalized on this and finished the fight with ground strikes.
Henry had joined an exclusive club; He was Champ Champ.
This put him in a new category among, Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Amanda Nunes.
December 20, 2019 – Henry Cejudo relinquishes the 125 belt
This brings us to today. Henry has called out many people. Including Valentina Shevchenko, but the fight I see a lot of potential for is Dominick Cruz. He fits right into the story of Cejudo fighting people that at one time had that unbeatable dominance. Another possible match up I like at 135 is Petr Yan. Yan just finished Uriah Faber with a brutal knockout and has had a lot of momentum before that but now that he’s on the radar and ranked #3 I think it would be fair to give him a shot. I understand that people want him to fight Sterling (currently ranked #2) but for some reason that matchup doesn’t interest me. I do like sterling but honestly think he would get out wrestled before he landed anything finishing. His last loss was against Marlon Moraes who is still at #1 in rankings.
I think they should rematch (Sterling vs Moraes) and winner fights the winner of Cejudo vs Yan. Those are both matchups that I feel like are great timing wise with Yan riding the clout off knocking out the California Kid. With Cejudo gone at 125, UFC has booked a fight for the vacant 125 title, Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC Norfolk on February 29, 2020. Who do you think will win the 125 belt? Also, who should Cejudo fight next?
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