Henry Cejudo must defend flyweight title or Joseph Benavidez or be stripped

Henry Cejudo is making the absolute most of being a UFC dual champion after adding bantamweight gold to his flyweight title against Marlon Moraes in June.

Cejudo, who is now going by his “Triple C” moniker, alluding to his Olympic gold medal win in addition to his two UFC championships, has even been calling out women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko of late.

But being a dual champion in the UFC comes with its problems.

Those good enough to achieve that goal rarely keep hold of both belts for long due to inactivity in one of those divisions.

UFC President Dana White wants to avoid having the UFC flyweight division held up and says Cejudo must defend his belt at 125-pounds against Joseph Benavidez next.

“Right now, we have some things playing out at 135 pounds,” White said at the Tuesday Night Contender Series media scrum.

“What we’d like to see Cejudo do is defend his title against Benavidez. Benavidez is ready. It’s the right thing to do. If he can’t, then he needs to give up one of the belts.”

Cejudo and Benavidez have fought before. Benavidez edged a close split decision win over his rival back in 2016 after appearing as rival coaches on season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter.

Since then, Cejudo has compiled a run of five consecutive wins over big names such as Demetrious Johnson, T.J. Dillashaw and the aforementioned Marlon Moraes across the two divisions.

Benavidez lost his fight against Sergio Pettis after defeating Cejudo, but has since put together three wins on the bounce.

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.