The novel coronavirus pandemic continues to gut UFC events. This time, we’ve lost the original headliner of UFC 250 on May 9th. Former two-weight world champion, Henry ‘The Messenger’ Cejudo was originally scheduled to headline the event in the first attempted defence of his bantamweight title, against all-time featherweight great, José Aldo ‘Jr.’ That plan has now been shelved.
Per an initial report by Combate reporters, Ana Hissa, and Raphael Marinho, former 145-pound champion Aldo, hasn’t been granted a work visa following the expiration of his previous visa, with the United States embassy refusing to approve the document due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The event was scheduled to take place in São Paulo originally – but will now be hosted in the United States, resulting in Aldo’s failed application for a valid work visa.
Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo, who last featured in a vacant bantamweight title victory over Marlon Moraes last June, will now stand opposite former bantamweight gold-holder, Dominick ‘The Dominator’ Cruz.
Cruz, 35, will make his first Octagon walk since his title defeat to Cody Garbrandt back at UFC 207 in December 2016. The San Diego native was recently tentatively rumoured to clash with rising contender, Cory Sandhagen at an upcoming Fight Night event in his hometown – with the bout failing to come to fruition. Before his one-sided defeat to Garbrandt, Cruz had managed thirteen straight wins including victories over Urijah Faber (x2), Joseph Benavidez (x2), T.J. Dillashaw, Demetrious Johnson, Takeya Mizugaki, Brian Bowles, and Ian McCall.
33-year-old Los Angelas born wrestler, Cejudo, has similarly to Cruz – lodged wins over some of the most recognisable names in mixed-martial-arts. The Eric Albarracin trainee added the aforementioned Moraes to his win column at UFC 238, but also holds a knockout win over the previously noted Dillashaw in his sole flyweight title defence. The polarizing Cejudo also avenged his first career loss to Demetrious Johnson, narrowly outpointing the AMC Pankration product in a 2018 rematch.