Henry Cejudo has really leveled up in the past 9 months or so. He has defeated one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, Demetrious Johnson. He has defended the flyweight title against one of the greatest bantamweights of all time, TJ Dillashaw. And most recently, he fought for the vacant bantamweight title, against Marlon Moraes and won via third-round TKO.
At this point, Henry Cejudo has gone from being just another flyweight contender to being a double champ, holding both the flyweight and bantamweight titles. It’s remarkable work.
But the question remains, what could possibly be next for him?
Well, first of all, a fight is not in his very near future. He will likely be out of action for the remainder of 2019, due to undergoing shoulder surgery. Maybe we see him sometime in December, possibly on the New Years Eve card. We will have to wait and see though.
Once we gets through that and he makes a full recovery, who should be fight? Should he defend the flyweight belt or should he defend his new bantamweight belt?
One thing to note, Cejudo DID say that he was out to ‘save’ the flyweight division, in the build-up to his fight with TJ Dillashaw at 125. But with his new bantamweight belt over the shoulder, the priorities may be a bit mixed up now. He has more options.
I don’t know which path he will choose to go down but I can make a prediction for both. Here we go:
If he defends at bantamweight: Let’s see him defend against either Aljamain Sterling or Petr Yan. Both of those two guys have been on a tear lately and would make for intriguing title fights. Either one. Both deserving. Maybe we get to see an interim title fight between the two while Henry is gone and the winner unifies with Cejudo in early-2020.
Hopefully he doesn’t get anymore ideas about wanting to fight some of the recent guys he has called out.
For example, after defeating Moraes and winning the 135 belt, Cejudo decided to call out Urijah Faber, Cody Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz. And I was very confused by that because none of those guys are close to title contention. Faber and Cruz haven’t been active and Garbrandt is 0-3 in his last 3 fights.
Hopefully we can just forget about those fights and Henry decides to fight a deserving challenger.
Back to business:
If he defends at flyweight: Let’s see him defend against either Joseph Benavidez or Jussier Formiga. Luckily enough, the two of them are scheduled to fight this summer and after that, we will have the clear #1 contender.
If he does cross-promotional fights: There are two fights out there for Cejudo that would be cross-promotional.
Option A: Kyoji Horiguchi- This guy is practically in the same position as Cejudo right now. The only difference is that Horiguchi is a double-bantamweight champ and Cejudo is a flyweight and bantamweight champ. Either way, they both hold two belts and Horiguchi has since called Cejudo out.
Horiguchi is the RIZIN bantamweight champion and just tacked on a second bantamweight belt, after defeating Bellator champ Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 222.
Option B: Vasyl Lomachenko- This guy is one of the best boxers in the world today and Cejudo recently called him out to fight. Lomachenko seemed to have laughed it off but IF the fight were to ever happen, Cejudo would very likely have to go over to boxing and it would easily be the biggest payday of his fight career. Besides, anything is possible…and it wouldn’t be the first MMA vs Boxing super fight we have seen lately.
In the end, Henry Cejudo has a TON of options for his next fight. He will likely be back in action by early-2020 and we will see what happens then. Until then, his Hit List should be: Yan, Sterling, Benavidez, Formiga.
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The Scrap’s Kevin Mahoney is a college graduate from Salem State University who loves to write, make music, and watch MMA. Make sure to follow Kevin on Twitter (@KeysRealTalk) and listen to his Lee N Keys Real Talk Podcast every Wednesday on BlogTalkRadio.