Sonnen and ex-bantamweight and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo worked as commentators for the Eagle Fighting Championship last weekend. So, “The American Gangster” had the chance to quiz Cejudo on his potential mixed martial arts return. “Triple C,” who retired in May 2020, has repeatedly called out 145-pound champion Alexander Volkanovski. Beating the Australian would fulfill Cejudo’s dream of becoming the promotion’s first-ever three-division champion.
And according to Sonnen, Cejudo is back in the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing pool and he’s training twice a day for his featherweight debut. That’s what Cejudo told Sonnen, The American Gangster revealed during a recent YouTube video.
“Henry’s mind is getting pulled in a few different directions,” Sonnen said via MMA Insight. “He’s not completely committed to one idea. But I have asked him point-blank. ‘Henry, for sure, are you coming back?’ He said yes, I said, ‘OK, I heard you talking about Sterling, and I heard you talking about Yan as recently as last week.’
“So I’m coming to the opinion that 135 is still in play. Now, that’s where things got weird, ‘cause he told me, ‘No.’ He said, ‘No, 145.’
‘145, you’re coming back, you’ll go through the list?’
“He said, ‘Chael, I’m in the USADA pool, I’m training twice a day, I’m ready to go, I want Volkanovski.’
“I could tell you that look in Henry’s eyes, he means this. This is real. For you, Cejudo fans out there, be happy. You’re getting your guy back.”
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Retired Fighters Returning Must Be Subjected to USADA Testing for 6 Months
Fighters must be enrolled in USADA’s pool and be subjected to random testing to be eligible to compete inside the Octagon. When a fighter removes themselves from the pool due to retirement, they must be in the drug-testing pool for six months before they can fight.
If Triple C just reentered the pool and is serious about returning, then fans won’t see him in the cage until summer 2022 at the earliest.
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Cejudo Has Defeated Several Former UFC Champions
Triple C, who is an Olympic gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, has had a Hall of Fame career as a UFC combatant. Cejudo boasts a professional MMA record of 16-2, which includes eight victories via KO/TKO.
He has several big names on his mantel, including former UFC bantamweight champions Dominick Cruz and TJ Dillashaw. He’s also the fighter credited for dethroning longtime flyweight king Demetrious Johnson. By the time they entered the Octagon for a rematch at UFC 227 in August 2018 “Mighty Mouse” had defended the 125-pound belt 11 times, which included a TKO defense over Triple C in 2016.
Cejudo defeated Johnson via split decision.