Henry Cejudo isn’t ready to give up on his dream of reclaiming the bantamweight title and has suggested that he could step in to fight Sean O’Malley for the interim bantamweight title if current champion Aljamain Sterling backs out of a verbally agreed defense of the belt at UFC 292 on August 19th.
“If Aljamain Sterling is playing this game that he’s not ready, he needs a little more time, (then) let’s make an interim fight between me and Sean O’Malley,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “It’s a bigger fight, it’s what the UFC wanted initially. It’s the same reason why they brought me out to chase and beat Aljamain Sterling.
“Yeah, OK, I took a loss. Split decision, I’ll take it on the chin, but there’s still an opportunity there for me. After a three-year layoff, coming back, losing by split decision, being ranked now No. 3, that puts me in a really good position.”
Cejudo had previously called out Merab Dvalishvili after losing to Sterling, and he says that offer is still open, but it appears that the chance to fight O’Malley would be an enticing one.
“I wanted Merab, and I’m still willing to wait for Merab. But if that fight with Sean O’Malley happens to open up, I’m 100 percent in, Dana White.”
In fact, even if Sterling opts to go ahead with the title defense, Cejudo has claimed he’d be willing to serve as the back-up fighter just in case something goes wrong at a later date.
“Typically, I wouldn’t be the type of guy that would do things like that, but right now I don’t have the gold around my waist. So, if the UFC does want to have me as a backup, yeah. I’ve got to talk to Ali (Abdelaziz), and I do want to be compensated to be the backup fighter.”