Former UFC double-champ Henry Cejudo has been calling out fighters left, right and center on social media for quite some time now, despite still technically being retired, but this past weekend in Las Vegas he stepped things up a notch by doing it in person.
The ex-flyweight and bantamweight titleholder targeted Sean O’Malley backstage while he was being interviewed following his lackluster fight with Pedro Munhoz, which ended in a no-contest due to an eyepoke.
“Hey Sean, if you want a match he’s right here – I’d love a tune-up,” Cejudo shouted from the sidelines. “What do you say, precious?”
O’Malley seemed somewhat bemused by the unexpected intrusion and sceptical about whether Cejudo was even serious about fighting again after two years on the sidelines.
Speaking on his ‘Triple C & Schmo Show’ podcast this week, Cejudo confirmed that he sees O’Malley as a good fight to dip his toe back into competing in the UFC.
“I just think he thinks he’s better than what he really is, and to me that’s a problem, so I challenged him,” Cejudo recalled. “I said, ‘What’s up, man? Are you ready?’ He’s like, ‘Cuh-cuh-cuh …’ I should start calling him ‘Stuttering Sean.’ He freaking tripped over his own damn words. But anyways, he doesn’t want this smoke. That would be the worst. It would be like Jake Paul facing Jon Jones. I would eat that dude alive.”
“I think that might be a good tune-up fight, but the goal for me for Sean is to get rid of him in two rounds,” Cejudo said. “Like, don’t make him go past two rounds. So that’s my goal. But he wouldn’t take the fight. Stylistically, I’m just too smart, I’m too experienced, I’m too tough, and I’m definitely too damn good looking.
“I would take him down. I would do some nasty things to him. I’d kick that front leg of his and then I’d slowly start putting may hands on him, and that’s the game plan.”
Meanwhile, Cejudo also sought out featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski after his big trilogy win over Max Holloway, but this time his challenge was far more respectful.
“This is all competition, man,” Cejudo can be overheard telling Volkanovski backstage.
“If an Olympic medal and two UFC belts ain’t enough, I just want to compete, Alexander. As a competitor, I respect the s**t out of you.
“Congratulations No. 1. I just want to know how far I can take it and that’s why I’m challenging you.”
Volkanovski seemed to have some interest in the showdown, telling Cejudo, “Well let’s be real, I need someone to challenge me.”
Earlier in the week Cejudo had also confronted current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling.
“You’re not only going to bend one knee, your going to bend two when you go up against Triple C,” Cejudo informed him.
“I’m trying to tell you, you don’t want this smoke,” Sterling responded. “So, get your ass in shape, go talk to Dana, and daddy’s going to tell you when you can play.”
The two were also spotted jawing at each other Octagon-side at UFC 276, but despite all the work he’s putting in on the promotional front it seems like his fellow fighters aren’t going to take him seriously until he really does step back inside the Octagon.