Henry Cejudo energized by thought of Max Holloway matchup: ‘I’d love the challenge’

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Henry Cejudo energized by thought of Max Holloway matchup: ‘I’d love the challenge’

Henry Cejudo has added Max Holloway to his list of names as he teases a potential comeback.

A former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion, Cejudo (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) has not fought since May 2020, but has frequently remained in the limelight as he walks the tightrope of being retired or unretired.

While Cejudo has long hinted at a return to the cage, he hasn’t officially declared he has plans of accepting a fight. However, there are matchups that intrigue him, and Holloway (22-6 MMA, 18-6 UFC), a former UFC featherweight champion, is one of them.

“I have never called out Holloway (until now),” Cejudo told ESPN on Tuesday. “(Find) any video where I’ve actually called out Holloway. Even when he had the belt, I’ve never called out Max Holloway. He’s another fight that I feel like in the future I would love to fight.”

Cejudo’s interest in fighting Holloway has two roots. Cejudo loves the idea of competing against someone people doubt he can beat. Additionally, the challenge of fighting a high-level competitor like Holloway up a weight-class is appealing.

“I love the fact that people do not believe that I can beat him,” Cejudo said. “… I think that Max Holloway fight, because nobody would believe me, is the same reason why I would want that fight. He’s taller than me. He’s inflicted a lot more damage on different people. But I feel like I’m just too smart and just too skilled. I’d love the challenge if I were to ever fight Max Holloway.”

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is scheduled to defend his title against Brian Ortega on March 27. Fights against either of those two men interest Cejudo, too. Regardless of the outcome of the UFC 260 featherweight title fight, however, Cejudo is rooting for Holloway to get championship gold back in a fight against the winner.

Should Holloway obtain his title again in the future, Cejudo thinks he’d fare well in a matchup against the Hawaiian fighter. He laid out the factors he thinks would make a difference and in-cage smarts were on the forefront.

“I think my IQ, I think my smartness (is the difference),” Cejudo said. “Of course, he has range. I would be the distance. This is the thing, man: Watch my Dominick Cruz fight. Look at how much taller he is than me and look at how I was able to manage the distance, taking his legs out, the timing portion of it. I think it’s just my IQ. … I personally feel that there’s no doubt in my mind that I can beat him.

“Now, it’s just kind of getting the opportunity (or) shot. … I would love for Max Holloway to win that belt again. I would love to go in there and fight him and to demonstrate to the world how great ‘Triple C’ is. I don’t dare to be great. I am damn great.”

Henry Cejudo energized by thought of Max Holloway matchup: ‘I’d love the challenge’