During a normal calendar year, May 9th of this calendar year was slated as a special night of fights across multiple promotions. UFC 249, originally slated for Brazil, featured Henry Cejudo and Jose Aldo atop the bill, and was percolating rapidly with anticipation after more bouts were added including Amanda Nunes taking on Felicia Spencer.
However, one can simply look around them, observe surroundings, access the internet, or even turn on a television to quickly figure out that 2020 is anything but a normal year.
In the world of mixed martial arts, things were no different. So, once Aldo fell out of his attempt at a bantamweight title due to travel restrictions in Brazil, a replacement was needed for whenever the Bantamweight king Cejudo saw fit to compete. Therein stepped in a man with a compelling case as the greatest bantamweight of all time, in 22-2 Dominick Cruz. Three years removed from losing his belt to Cody Garbrandt, Cruz was finally inside the cage again looking to reclaim what he lost at UFC 207 back on New Year’s eve 2016.
A heavy leg kick attack spurred Cejudo’s approach in the opening round. Thud after thud, after thud, Cejudo was chopping those trees down early— and often. Cruz, as in many of his prior fights, looked to get a feel for Cejudo’s entry points and rhythm on the feet, in an attempt to begin forming a rhythym of his own. Every single level change Cruz looked to potentially enter off of, Cejudo, in typical gold medal fashion, sprawled to perfection. Cejudo turned in a solid first five minutes, and Cruz would need to make adjustments in order to shift the momentum entering the second.
Cejudo would stay in a smooth rhythym in round two, really putting together a solid showing by catching Cruz on more than one occasion. A prompting of a pause in the action came a little over halfway through the round, as a clash of heads opened up a cut in the hairline of the champion.
The doctor came and went, all things moving on according to plan, and all of a sudden, Cejudo caught Cruz with a brutal knee, with the former champion down and hurt badly. Cejudo against the clock, began flurrying in an attempt to secure the finish. Nearly a dozen unanswered shots from Cejudo came just in the nick of time.
The fight was waved off with Cejudo notching a defense of his bantamweight crown.
After the fight’s conclusion, Henry Cejudo announced his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts at the age of 33. Cejudo leaves the sport, for now at least, truly boasting one of the more elite resumes in the history of combat sports. Cejudo hangs up the gloves with a 16-2 professional record, with an 11-2 mark inside the UFC octagon. Cejudo claimed both the flyweight and bantamweight titles, and successfully defended each title once. Cejudo’s most notable victories include the likes of Demetrious Johnson, T.J. Dillashaw, and Marlon Moraes.
Official Result: Henry Cejudo def. Dominick Cruz by TKO (Knee, Ground & Pound) at 4:58 – Round 2