On Sunday, fans noticed that UFC Bantamweight Champion Henry “Triple C” Cejudo was missing from the official UFC rankings, along with his picture as champion. On Monday, ESPN confirmed that Cejudo had vacated his bantamweight title.
The bantamweight division no longer has a champion, and the UFC is likely to set up a bout for the vacant title between two top-ranked fighters. It’s unclear at this moment who will square off for Triple C’s belt.
After his win at UFC 249 over former champion Dominick Cruz, Cejudo shocked viewers when he announced his retirement. In his post-fight interview with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, Triple C said, “I’m retiring tonight Joe. I’m 33 years old, I’m happy with my career. Again, uncle Dana [White], I want to say thank you for everything. You’re the man.”
He finished by saying, “Triple C’s out. You guys don’t have to hear my a** no more.”
— UFC (@ufc) May 10, 2020
On Monday afternoon, Cejudo tweeted:
Thank you for the awesome experiences 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 been a wonderful ride. Triple C is out.
Thank you for the awesome experiences 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 been a wonderful ride. Triple C is out 🎤 #retiredontop pic.twitter.com/ZoHa3asoDU
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) May 25, 2020
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Cejudo’s Manager Said That He Didn’t Believe Triple C Was Retiring
After Cejudo said he was retiring, many fans, fighters and analysts believed Triple C was making this statement to allow him more leverage in negotiations with the UFC. As it stands right now, it appears that Cejudo has made good on his retirement promise.
Cejudo’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, spoke with TMZ before Cejudo vacated his belt. Abdelaziz said that he didn’t believe Triple C was retiring and that fans could expect to see Cejudo fight this summer.
He told the outlet, “Henry has everybody on their knees right now. I don’t think he’s gonna retire. You’re gonna see him fight by the summer.”
Triple C Was On an Impressive Run, Defeating Some of the Best Fighters of This Generation
Cejudo’s presumed retirement is surprising in that he was in the prime of his career. Triple C hasn’t lost since 2016, and he’s won and defended a belt in two different weight classes.
He’s currently on a six-fight win streak, with all of those victories coming over formidable opponents. He started his streak when he defeated former flyweight title challenger Wilson Reis at UFC 215.
Next, he defeated Sergio Pettis at UFC 218 which granted him a flyweight title shot and rematch against Demetrious Johnson. Triple C defeated the long-reigning champ at UFC 227 by split decision, earning him his first UFC belt.
He defended the flyweight belt against then-Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw. After his impressive victory over Dillashaw, Triple C moved up to bantamweight and defeated top contender Marlon Moraes at UFC 238, earning Dillashaw’s vacated belt.
On May 9, Cejudo defended his bantamweight title for the first time when he took on Dominick Cruz. Triple C won that bout by second-round TKO in a victory over a fighter who many regard as the greatest bantamweight ever.
If Cejudo truly walks away from the sport, he retires with a professional MMA record of 16-2, with eight wins by KO or TKO and eight wins by decision.