Henry Cejudo was an interested observer on Saturday night when Alexander Volkanovski defeated Brian Ortega in a “Fight of the Year” candidate at UFC 266.
After the event, Cejudo tweeted at UFC president Dana White, with the following claim: “I’m gonna take Alexander the Average’s Soul.” That prompted a succint response from the featherweight champion at the UFC 266 post-fight press conference.
“He’s called out everyone. He’s called out females. Does he actually believe the s—t that comes out of his mouth? Nah, not worried about him. I’ll squash the little germ,” Volkanovski said.
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Cejudo doubled down on his callout of Volkanovski, pleading with White to allow him to move up to 145 pounds.
“Not only do I believe that I can beat him, I know I can stop him,” Cejudo said. “As much as I saw good things from Volkanovski, there are still a lot of holes. I believe my height would be problem for him, because he is a couple inches taller than me. My speed, my wrestling, my experience, I’ve been in there against the best. Okay, Alexander the Average had a great performance, it was a great fight, I just believe that I have the ‘It’ factor to beat this dude. Not only to beat this dude, but to stop him.
“Allow me to make history. If he’s that good, allow him to shut me up. Dana White, if you’re listening, this is a real message. Forget the cringe, forget the persona, this is straight up me: I am the greatest combat athlete of all time and I promise you, if you give me the opportunity, I will knock this dude out in no less than three rounds.”
Cejudo announced his retirement following a second-round TKO win over Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 in May 2020 and has not appeared to seriously consider a comeback since then. It’s not the first time, however, that he’s hinted that a title shot against Volkanovski could convince him to make a comeback.
Cejudo has won titles at flyweight and bantamweight, and he scoffed at the notion that he might be too undersized to move up to challenge Volkanovski.
“I’m 165 pounds, believe it or not. 145 would fit me perfect,” Cejudo said. “Again, if anybody doubts this mind, if you think I won the Olympics because I got lucky or the two belts, hate the cringe, whatever the hell, but I’m a freaking competitor and I just want a challenge. I want a shot at legacy. I want a shot to be the first UFC triple champ, to win three belts on top of my Olympic gold medal. That’s it.”