Jose Aldo’s hopes of fighting for the bantamweight title against Henry Cejudo have been dashed after he was forced to pull out of UFC 250 on May 9th due to travel issues.
According to Globo, Aldo’s work visa for the U.S. had expired and it can’t be renewed for the time being due to the coronavirus pandemic, so with the event now expected to take place at the Tachi Palace in California, that left him with no choice but to rule himself out of competing.
However, the UFC have now managed to make alternative arrangements, with former bantamweight kingpin Dominick Cruz now agreeing to step in to replace him instead.
It’s a tall order for Cruz given that he’s been out of action for well over three years now due to ongoing injury woes, but given that ‘The Dominator’ once returned after another three year layoff in 2014 and promptly Ko’d Takeya Mizugaki in just 61 seconds, you would need to think carefully about betting against him.
Not only that, but consider that afterwards Cruz had another near-18-month layoff and then reclaimed the bantamweight title from TJ Dillashaw.
That being said, Cruz’s last fight saw him lose his title to Cody Garbrandt in surprisingly convincing fashion, and given that he’s now 35-years-old and had even more injuries to deal with since, it’s going to be very interesting to see what he’s got left in the tank.
Of course he is facing a formidable opponent in current double champion Cejudo, whose remarkable run in the past few years has seen him finally end Demetrious Johnson’s historic flyweight title run, defeat bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw after he dropped down to 125lbs and then moved up to bantamweight to win the vacant belt against Marlon Moraes.
Cejudo vs. Cruz is expected to headline a UFC 250 card that as things stand was also supposed to feature a co-main event between women’s double champion Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer at featherweight.