Henry Cejudo thinks is his comeback story will be greater than Jon Jones’ and Georges St-Pierre’s.
The former two-division UFC champion makes his return at UFC 288, where he takes on current king Aljamain Sterling. This will be Cejudo’s first time stepping into the Octagon since his successful title defense over Dominick Cruz, which was three years ago.
Cejudo hung up his gloves on that performance until he saw a good reason to come out of retirement.
“Because it’s easy money,” Cejudo told reporters at UFC 288 media day, when asked why he was returning. “I watched these guys fight after coaching some of the best guys in the world: [Jon] Jones, Demetrious Johnson, Zhang Weili, Deiveson Figueiredo, Jiri Prochazka… I start to understand my talent a little bit more, and I know there is a window and I know there is a gap where I really do have to say goodbye.
“I’m 36 years old, 36 years young. I feel really good. I love the challenge. I love the fact that people are gonna doubt me, and I think that’s another reason why I’m back too. I love being the underdog like I’ve been my whole life. I personally think Aljamain just sucks.”
Cejudo Wants To Be Put On ‘GOAT Mountain’
For ‘Triple C’, he has already cemented himself as one of the greatest fighters to ever do it. From an Olympic gold medal to championships in both the UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight divisions, his resume looks complete. However, Cejudo wants to add a cherry on top of his well-established legacy and that comes with dethroning Sterling at UFC 288.
“Even if I never came back, I’m happy with my career,” Cejudo continued. “I’ve done everything that I was set out to do plus one winning a second UFC belt. I mean, I can retire now and be alright.
“But, I love the fact that this fight could put me in a category where it’s just like, man, you may not like the persona, you may not like my personality, you may not like the cringe, but you’ll definitely respect me and put me on ‘GOAT mountain’ after a three year retirement, [that’s] what Jon Jones has done, what St-Pierre has done. That’s ‘Mount Olympus’. Not only am I looking to beat Aljamain Sterling, but I’m looking to dominate him and he ain’t going past three rounds.”
Cejudo Says He Will Have A Better Return Than Jones And GSP
Cejudo believes beating Sterling after 3 years away would outweigh the similar accomplishments made by fellow two-division champs Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones.
St-Pierre defeated Michael Bisping to become the UFC Middleweight Champion after 4 years of retirement and Jones defeated Ciryl Gane last March to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion following 3 years spent outside of the Octagon.
“Yeah, I think so,” Cejudo said, when asked if his return would be greater than that of St-Pierre’s and Jones’. “Because with all due respect, and I love Jon, [but] that wasn’t Francis Ngannou. I love St-Pierre. I think he’s great, but he also [fought Michael Bisping], that wasn’t the best guy in the world at that time, with all due respect. He picked the right opponent.
“I’m coming in, I’m literally getting the number one ranked guy in the world, which happens to be Aljamain and I love that challenge… I’ve been retired for three years, but really I’ve been retired for two because this whole last year I’ve been training this whole last year, I’ve been studying. Those last two years, I’ve been training the best in the world and just the accumulation of knowledge that I’ve experienced.
“I may grow a gut, I may like fried chicken like Daniel Cormier, but I can compete,” Cejudo added. “I can compete with anybody and I do believe I am the greatest competitor of all time.”