Henry Cejudo, a former UFC bantamweight champion who announced his retirement from the sport after defending his title against Dominick Cruz in 2020, will make his return to the cage after 1097 days in an attempt to reclaim his former glory at UFC 288 on May 6.
However, Pedro Munhoz, an octagon veteran with 18 appearances, who will face Chris Gutierrez at the upcoming UFC Kansas City show on April 15, doesn’t believe it makes sense for Cejudo to challenge for the title after such a lengthy period of inactivity.
Speaking on a recent episode of Trocação Franca podcast, Munhoz commented, “With Henry Cejudo and all that time away, retired, to return for the belt, there’s no logic in that. There’s no logic whatsoever. I know he was the flyweight champion and then bantamweight champion, so apparently, it’s a fight that sells, apparently both guys have big influence in the organization.”
Munhoz believes it would make more sense for Sean O’Malley to fight Aljamain Sterling instead, given that many people disagreed with the judges on his fight against Petr Yan, and that he won against the No.1 contender. However, he is not concerned about the UFC’s decision and won’t waste his energy on something that is out of his control.
During their last encounter in 2019, Munhoz lost a decision to Sterling on the same night Cejudo won the 135-pound belt. Although Munhoz disagrees with the UFC’s call to give Cejudo a title shot, he expects Sterling to emerge as the winner in Newark, NJ.
Munhoz observed, “I think Henry Cejudo and all that time away, out of shape, could make the big difference after three rounds. I see Aljamain Sterling as the strong favorite…I think Sterling is physically strong and is in great shape. He’s not one of my favorite fighters to watch, his strategy isn’t very pleasing to my eyes. Nothing against him as a person, but the way he fights is a bit different from how I fight. It’s working for him, he’s the champion.”