Cejudo retired in 2020 after moving up from the flyweight division and capturing the 135-pound championship by finishing Dominick Cruz late in the second round of the UFC 249 co-main event. Since stepping away from fighting, Cejudo has regularly teased a return.
UFC president Dana White added to the speculation of a Cejudo return during the UFC 280 Post-Fight Press Conference last month.
“What about Henry Cejudo? That work? You like that?” White said when asked by a reporter what was next for Sterling.
During the UFC New York City Media Day last week, Sterling didn’t seem all that interested in a fight with Cejudo. He questioned whether “Triple C” was even serious about returning to the octagon.
“I’d like for Henry to show that he’s serious about this. I don’t know. I can’t take the guy seriously,” Sterling said.
“If he actually gets back and competes against somebody to make it go like, okay, this guy is for real – I do understand what he’s trying to do. He doesn’t want to take a No. 1 contender fight because if he loses – He would rather lose in a title shot opportunity. I think that’s where he’s at right now.”
Sterling then took aim at Cejudo’s decision to retire in May 2020.
“No one told you to retire bro. We all knew you were going to come back. What stupid games are you playing,” said Sterling. “That’s on you. The division has passed you by. What you did three years ago doesn’t quite hold a candle to what everyone’s doing right now and competing. This game, I think, has kind of passed him.”