Henry Cejudo Vacates UFC Bantamweight Title After Retirement Announcement

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2020

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - MAY 09: Henry Cejudo celebrates after his knockout victory over Dominick Cruz in their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 249 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 09, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Henry Cejudo has officially vacated the UFC bantamweight title after announcing his retirement at UFC 249, according to Marc Raimondi and Ariel Helwani of ESPN.

UFC released its updated rankings Monday, but Cejudo was not listed and the bantamweight champion was blank.

Cejudo, who has won titles at both bantamweight and flyweight, defeated Dominick Cruz to defend his belt before announcing his retirement in the Octagon.

"I'm happy with my career," he said, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN. "I've done enough in the sport. I want to walk away and enjoy myself. I'm 33 years old. I have a girl now, watching me from back home. Since I was 11, I've sacrificed my life to get to where I was tonight. I'm retiring tonight. Uncle Dana [UFC President Dana White], thank you. Everybody here, thank you so much."

Cejudo took to Twitter on Monday to thank White, saying he will "forever be grateful" to the UFC president:

Henry Cejudo @HenryCejudo

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 https://t.co/ZoHa3asoDU

Though many were surprised by the 33-year-old calling it quits on top of the sport, White said it wasn't a spur-of-the-moment decision.

"Cejudo has been talking about retirement to us for months," White said after UFC 249.

His coach, Eric Albarracin, also said he thinks the retirement was legitimate.

"I have seen this before and I know when he makes his mind up it's pretty much over," Albarracin told Damon Martin of MMA Fighting.

Cejudo was an Olympic gold medalist in wrestling before retiring early from the sport and switching to MMA. He went onto produce a 16-2 record, ending with six straight wins including four in title fights.

Though there has been no announcement about who will compete for the vacated title, White has said Petr Yan would likely get a chance, per Raimondi and Helwani. Marlon Moraes is considered the division's No. 1 contender in the latest rankings, followed by Aljamain Sterling and then Yan at No. 3.