The UFC bantamweight title is now officially up for grabs after the UFC took former champion Henry Cejudo on his word of retirement from mixed martial arts competition.
Cejudo announced his retirement in the immediate aftermath after scoring a TKO win over Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 behind closed doors earlier this month.
Fans, pundits, and even his manager Ali Abdelaziz, didn’t take Cejudo’s retirement announcement overly seriously, given his penchant for reckless talk.
However, fans spotted that the UFC had removed Cejudo’s name from the title page and rankings from its website on Sunday night. ESPN later confirmed that the promotion considers Cejudo as retired from fighting.
Cejudo later posted this in response, seemingly confirming that he has hung up his four-ounce gloves for good:
Thank you for the awesome experiences uncle @danawhite I will forever be grateful. Thank you for taking a chance on the sport that people thought would never make it. To all my coaches and fans it been a wonderful ride. Triple C is out 🎤 #retiredontop pic.twitter.com/ZoHa3asoDU
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) May 25, 2020
It’s not out of character for Cejudo to retire at the peak of his powers. He won wrestling Olympic gold for the USA in Beijing in 2008, before leaving the sport for MMA.
He ends his UFC tenure with a 16-2 record and on a six-fight winning run. His last four fights have seen him defeat pound-for-pound great Demetrious Johnson, former champion T.J. Dillashaw, dominant WSOF titleholder Marlon Moraes and ex-WEC and UFC bantamweight king Dominick Cruz.