While Joseph Benavidez is one of only two people to have defeated him, Henry Cejudo claims the loss doesn’t sting as much for him.
Cejudo and Benavidez first met back in December 2016, with the latter taking home a controversial split decision win. It made it two straight losses for “The Messenger” who had previously been knocked out in his first title attempt against Demetrious Johnson.
Since then, however, Cejudo has won five straight, and currently reigns supreme as the flyweight and bantamweight champion. If he decides to defend his 125-pound belt next, Benavidez is the natural choice, especially coming off an impressive win over Jussier Formiga last month.
Cejudo was one who was notably impressed by the performance:
“Tough, tough. Joe is just tough,” Cejudo told MMA Fighting when asked about his win over Formiga. “That’s his greatest attribute, it’s his heart. He’s a tough, tough kid. I know he respects me since the first time we fought. We kinda started off as enemies a little bit and it’s still personal when we fight.
“But he’s tremendous, man. He’s got the spirit of a warrior. Technically, he’s just awkward and weird, but I do believe that’s what makes him special too.”
Cejudo was able to exact revenge on Johnson by becoming the new flyweight king last year. While he still wants to get one over Benavidez as well, he is not as bothered by his loss to him as he was with his initial loss to Johnson:
“I’ll be honest with you, that loss doesn’t sting me that much,” Cejudo explained. “It doesn’t and I’ll be quite honest, the one that really stung me was Demetrious [Johnson]. That fashion.
“It was a split decision to Joe. And many people thought, including uncle Dana calling me, telling me that I won. But I still want to get it back, but at the same time it’s like man there’s a lot of opportunities for me. It’s the ‘Cejudoweight division,’ they didn’t believe me.”
Cejudo certainly has a lot of options once he is fit to compete again, including the names at bantamweight that he called out following his title win over Marlon Moraes last month. We’ll just have to wait and see what he does next.
Do you want to see Cejudo and Benavidez lock horns again? Or would you prefer to see Cejudo compete at bantamweight?