It seems there’s only one thing that can bring Henry Cejudo back to MMA.
Cejudo, former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion, retired in May after defending his 135-pound title against Dominick Cruz in the co-main event of UFC 249.
The retirement caught many by surprise, as Cejudo was considered at the height of his star power. The Olympic wrestling gold medalist said his desire to start a family and focus on personal life, plus wanting higher compensation for his UFC fights, were the main reasons why he was choosing to walk away.
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie Radio, Cejudo’s coach, Eric Albarracin said the former two-division champion would consider making a return to MMA for a title fight with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
“There’s really only one fighter that will bring him back and that’s Volkanovski,” Albarracin said. “That’s about him doing something that has never ever been done. He’s already done being ‘Triple C’ with the Olympic title and two UFC titles. Nobody is ever going to get that especially the mens, but there are champ-champs – he’s the fourth or fifth champ-champ in the history but theres never been a triple UFC champ in MMA or Bellator.
“So that’s what intrigues him. Henry is a conqueror. Once he conquers something he’s like a viking. He’s ready to conquer the next, so that’s what intrigues him becoming a legend amongst legends and an uncommon person among uncommon people.”
Volkanovski is currently booked to defend his title in a rematch against Max Holloway. Albarracin is unsure if Cejudo would want to challenge for the 145-pound title if Holloway were to defeat Volkanovski, but says there’s definitely interest in the Volkanovski matchup.
As far as a Cejudo comeback, Albarracin said there hasn’t been any talks or negotiations with the UFC.
Albarracin is confident about how a Cejudo return would go, comparing him to NBA legend Michael Jordan. Albarracin also claims former Bulls coach Phil Jackson called him and gave him permission to call himself the “Phil Jackson of MMA” and Cejudo the “Michael Jordan of MMA.”
“Who’s the Michael Jordan of MMA? Of course it’s Henry Cejudo,” Albarracin said. “How do I know? Because I’m the Phil Jackson of MMA. And how do I know that? Because Phil Jackson called me and said only one person can be the Phil Jackson of MMA and thats the person with all the belts.
“So I think Michael Jordan retired because he won his second three-peat. He came back eventually, so it’s up to the fans. If enough fans want to make it happen, why wouldn’t you put together the greatest fight? Either one comes out a legend at 145. Volkanovski is on a legend tear beating Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. Not that he could beat ‘Triple C,’ but in another universe, if he did beat ‘Triple C,’ he’s a legend. And of course, ‘Triple C’ will become C4 and he accomplishes something that no legend has ever accomplished. That would be a champion in three different weight classes in the UFC. C4, hello. Bye, bye, ‘Triple C.’”