There is an argument to be made that Henry Cejudo is underrated in discussions of MMA’s greats. Dana White has an idea about why that is the case.
Some fans consider Cejudo to be one of the greatest combat sports athletes of all time, which is understandable when you factor in his Olympic gold medal in wrestling, combined with being one of the few to hold two UFC titles simultaneously. Even Demetrious Johnson, another contender for the greatest of all time, has paid his respects to the man that ended his own UFC title run.
the greatest combat athlete @HenryCejudo prepares for battle tonight. crazy how far we have come with our battles, training together and sharing knowledge!! FIGHT IS GONNA BE FIRE!! #andnew pic.twitter.com/D0OC0lNOIe
— Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouse) May 6, 2023
Dana White: Inactivity Hindered Henry Cejudo
While some people are more than willing to give Henry Cejudo his flowers, others are quick to forget him when discussing the greatest MMA fighters of all time. UFC President Dana White seems to have a thought about why that is the case.
Speaking with TSN, White explained that fight fans like champions who keep looking for challenges, citing the likes of Israel Adesanya specifically. Compare this to the fact that Cejudo walked away shortly after winning his second title, without facing most of the top contenders at both flyweight and bantamweight, and this is why “Triple C” goes underrated.
“Do you know why (Cejudo’s) underrated? Because he retired when he could have really put a stamp on it, you know? Because there’s been tons of incredibly great talents have come through the UFC, from Jon Jones, to Anderson Silva, to GSP, the list goes on and on. Kamaru Usman is another one. If you really want to solidify yourself as one of the all-time greats. You have to do a lot more than he did,” White said.
“You don’t have to like his personality, but you have to respect what he does. I just think it’s a longevity (issue). He didn’t stick around long enough. Look at Israel (Adesanya). Israel wants to fight every three months. When you’re a real fight fan, and I imagine that goes with the MMA media too, they want to see a guy that wants to fight. They want to see a guy that wants to test himself. Look how fast Israel Adesanya was willing to fight Pereira, and then jump right back in and fight him again. That’s what fight fans love.”
Henry Cejudo will have the opportunity to cement his place at the top of the sport, if he is able to beat Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288, then put together a run of some kind. Of course, in the bantamweight division, that is much easier said than done.