Initially calling for an August return against the currently injured, Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 292 later this summer, former duel-weight champion, Henry Cejudo has now switched his attention to an interim title fight with incoming title challenger, Sean O’Malley.
Cejudo, who snapped a three-year-plus Octagon hiatus earlier this month, headlined UFC 288 in Newark, New Jersey against Aljamain Sterling – dropping a close, split decision loss to the defending bantamweight champion.
Suffering just the third professional loss of his gold laden professional career, Cejudo, a former undisputed flyweight and bantamweight champion to boot and an Olympic gold medalist, initially called for a fight with the #1 ranked bantamweight, Dvalishvili in the wake of his loss to the Georgian’s teammate, Sterling.
Henry Cejudo has offered to fight Sean O’Malley for interim gold at UFC 292
However, despite confirmation that Sterling will headline at the TD Garden in August in a title affair with Montana striker, O’Malley, Cejudo claims the champion is “playing games” – offering to fight the latter in an installed interim title fight instead.
“If Aljamain Sterling is playing this game that he is not ready [for UFC 292], he needs a little more time, let’s make an interim Henry Cejudo calls for interim title fight with Sean O’Malley at UFC 292: ‘I need my gold back’ fight between me and Sean O’Malley,” Henry Cejudo said on his Twitter. “It’s a bigger fight – it’s what the UFC wanted initially. It’s the same reason why they brought me out to chase and beat Aljamain Sterling.”
“And if they believe that Sean O’Malley and myself would be a bigger fight, then why not make it happen?” Henry Cejudo asked. “I wanted Merab (Dvalishvili), and I’m still willing to wait for Merab, but if that fight [Sterling versus O’Malley] with Sean O’Malley happens to open up, I’m 100 percent in, Dana White.”
In his most recent professional victory, Cejudo, then-bantamweight champion, successfully defended the crown with a second round TKO win over former two-time division kingpin, Dominck Cruz in the co-main event of UFC 249 in May 2020.