The UFC have decided that it’s time to move forward in the flyweight division without current champion Henry Cejudo and so he’s set to be stripped of the title.
Cejudo defended the 125lb title with a first round TKO finish of TJ Dillashaw in January, but he’s since moved up to bantamweight and won that belt too, and there’s no indication that he’s in a hurry to go back down to flyweight any time soon.
That’s left the top end of the division in limbo, with current No.1 contender Joseph Benavidez in particular having recently vented his frustrations at the hold-up.
As such, Cejudo will now lose the belt and Benavidez will get his opportunity to fight for the vacant title against Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC Fight Night 169 on February 29th in Norfolk, Virginia.
Reacting to the news, Cejudo was eager to make the distinction that he was relinquishing the belt rather than being stripped of it.
“No, I am not being stripped,” Cejudo told MMA Junkie. “I am relinquishing my title. Correction! ‘Triple C’ is relinquishing his title to these wannabe, so-called flyweight kingpins. That’s what’s going on. I’m relinquishing my belt. Being stripped is not what I’m doing. I’m relinquishing, and you can tell them all to bend the knee.”
However, Cejudo’s own manager Ali Abdelaziz seemed to indicate that the decision is all the UFC’s doing.
“We haven’t been told anything official yet, but the UFC got to do what they got to do. We move on.”