Henry Cejudo urges Aljamain Sterling to ‘stay away from that damn Hennessy,’ accept UFC 285 title fight

Henry Cejudo’s UFC return will be a title shot, and it could be less than two months away, according to the former double champion.

When he joined the LFA 149 broadcast Friday in Chandler, Ariz., Cejudo (22-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) confirmed the promotion is working on a fight against bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 285, a pay-per-view event scheduled for March 5 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“The UFC is shooting for March 5,” Cejudo said. “It’s up to him to cut some of that fat that he has and stay away from that damn Hennessy, but he’s next.”

Sterling (22-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) previously said on his podcast the Cejudo bout will be next but only mentioned “March” as the timeline. MMA Junkie previously mentioned UFC 285 as the targeted event on the Dec. 6 episode of “Spinning Back Clique.”

Cejudo, 35, has not competed since May 2020 when he successfully defended the UFC bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz. After the fight, Cejudo retired, a decision that caught many by surprise.

“I needed a break,” Cejudo said. “I’ve been wrestling at the highest level since age 11. I never really took a break. Me being off for close to three years, having a baby, spending time with her, watching her grow, watching her walk, watching her start talking, has been the biggest blessings. Everything I do, I take seriously. I had my fun. I had my dad bod, as you know. I’m just ready to take some necks and cash some damn checks.”

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The division is much different than when Cejudo left. There has been a changing of the guard among many contenders, and bantamweight is regarded by many pundits as the sport’s strongest division. Cejudo knows what he’s getting himself into.

“It’s stacked from top to bottom from the contenders like Sean O’Malley to me, the double champ, coming back to Aljamain Sterling (and) what he’s done so far,” Cejudo said. “From T.J. (Dillashaw) and the whole deal to (Cory) Sandhagen still knocking on the door, the division is stacked from top to bottom. I think it’s fun.

“I think there’s a lot of fun fights to make, and I’m here to bring the entertainment. I’m here to perform. No. 1, I’m a competitor. I love to compete. I love to take my talent to the next level. The only reason why I smack talk is it motivates me. I’ve got to live up to what I’m telling you, and I do it.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 285.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie