Henry Cejudo scored a convincing second-round knockout of Dominick Cruz in the co-main event of UFC 249 on Saturday evening in Jacksonville at Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena, defending the UFC Bantamweight championship in the process.
It was the 16th win of his MMA career, and in Cejudo’s post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, he revealed that the Bantamweight championship victory would be his last.
When announcing his retirement, Cejudo said to Rogan:
“I’m happy with my career. I’ve done enough in this sport. I want to walk away and enjoy myself. I’m 33 years old. I have a girl now, watching me from back home. Since I was 11, I’ve sacrificed my life to get to where I was tonight. I’m retiring tonight. Uncle Dana [Dana White], thank you. Everybody here, thank you so much.”
Looking back at the career that was:
Henry Cejudo’s combat sports career began in 2013 with a victory over Mike Poe (first-round knockout- strikes) in World Fighting Federation: Pascua Yaqui Fights 4 on March 2 of that year.
Three weeks later, Cejudo returned to competition in Gladiator Challenge, scoring another first-round knockout, this time against Sean Barnett with five seconds remaining in the round.
In April of 2013, Cejudo main evented World Fighting Federation’s WFF 10 card against Anthony Session, winning by first-round knockout for the third fight in a row.
The road to the UFC:
It didn’t take long for Cejudo to get noticed by Legacy Fighting Championships (a precursor to the current Legacy Fighting Alliance) after his fourth straight first-round knockout win (and second straight such victory in Gladiator Challenge) against Miguelito Marti.
The then-4-0 Cejudo saw his fight vs. Ryan Hollis go to a judges’ decision in October of 2013 in Legacy FC 24, scoring a unanimous decision.
Following a string of cancellations, Cejudo then fought Elias Garcia in Legacy FC 27 on Jan. 31, 2014, again scoring a unanimous decision.
Cejudo’s UFC tenure:
Another string of cancellations followed this win, but at the end of 2014, just 18 months after his professional MMA debut, Cejudo, 5-0, made his debut in the UFC during UFC on FOX 33, winning by unanimous decision against Dustin Kimura in the undercard.
The next time out, in March of 2015, Cejudo would make his pay-per-view debut against Chris Cariaso in UFC 185, winning by unanimous decision, followed by an undercard victory in UFC 188 vs. Chico Camus in June of that year.
Cejudo closed out 2015 that November, defeating Jussier Formiga (split decision) in The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America live finale on FS1 to run his unbeaten streak to 10 in a row.
Two-fight losing streak and last fights:
Henry Cejudo would lose both of his fights in 2016.
That April, Demetrious Johnson handed him his first career defeat (first-round knockout) in UFC 197’s co-main event for the UFC Flyweight title, followed by a loss (split decision) to Joseph Benavidez on Dec. 3, 2016 in The Ultimate Fighter live finale on FS1.
Cejudo retires from MMA with a six-fight winning streak to his credit, including Saturday’s knockout and a split decision win in his rematch vs. Demetrious Johnson, along with a first-round knockout of TJ Dillashaw in UFC on ESPN+ 1 in Brooklyn early last year.
On behalf of all of us at Armchair, best wishes to Henry Cejudo in the next chapter of his life.
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