Henry Cejudo has confirmed that he now intends to retire after succesfully defending his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 on Saturday night.
“I want to walk away. I want to enjoy myself,” Cejudo said in a surprise announcement in the Octagon following his second round TKO stoppage of Cruz. “Since I was 11 years old, I sacrificed my whole life to get where I’m at today. I’m not going to let nobody take that from me. So I’m retiring tonight.”
Cejudo went into more detail about his decision backstage after the show.
“I talked to my mentor, Dave Zowine, especially after my shoulder surgery. I had that time off. Man, I love freedom. This is why you guys saw me at a lot of UFC events. I enjoy that stuff. Since I was 11 years old, I probably had about 600 competitions of wrestling matches in my life. That’s all I’ve ever done man. I don’t have kids, well I finally got a girl now.”
“…I wanna step into that new chapter in my life. I’ve been extremely selfish, rightfully so to obtain what I’ve obtained. Can I say it again, guys? Olympic champ, flyweight champ, and bantamweight champ of the world and I defended both titles. Man, I wanna leave on top. I did it in wrestling and, I wanna do it now in the sport of mixed martial arts, and I just don’t see myself coming back. I wanna remain king forever.”
One man who wasn’t surprised by his decision was Dana White who said after the event that Cejudo had been thinking along those lines for a while.
“It really didn’t shock me,” White told reporters. “Cejudo has been talking about retirement to us for months. I’m of the belief that if you’re talking about retirement in the fight business, you should probably retire”
White went on to suggest that he hoped to have a new fight for the vacant bantamweight title in the near future and said that it would likely feature the 14-1 Petr Yan, who is currently unbeaten in his six UFC fights so far.