(Cejudo’s decision win against Ryan Hollis from Legacy FC 24 in October.)
As the youngest Olympic wrestling gold-medalist in U.S. history, Henry Cejudo kicked off his MMA career last year with a ton of hype behind him. And so far he’s lived up to it, winning five straight fights including four by first-round stoppage. But Cejudo has hit a rough patch lately due to weight and “illness” (which might just be a code-word for “weight”).
In November, Cejudo no-showed the weigh-ins for Legacy FC 25, where he was scheduled to compete in the co-main event against Saul Elizondo. According to his manager, Cejudo was suffering from nausea and light-headedness, and was later diagnosed with a stomach flu. The fight against Elizondo was scrapped.
Yesterday, Cejudo showed up late to the weigh-ins for tonight’s Legacy FC 27 card at Houston’s Arena Theatre — where he’ll be facing 4-0 prospect Elias Garcia — and hit the scales at 128.5 pounds for the flyweight contest. As a result, Cejudo has forfeited half of his fight-purse, and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is expected to suspend him between 90 and 180 days for being a late arrival to weigh-ins.
Cejudo has had no problem outclassing his opponents at bantamweight in the past, and his drop to flyweight seems somewhat unnecessary, at least at this stage of his career. While a 90-day suspension wouldn’t make a difference to your average UFC fighter, Cejudo fought at a breakneck frequency last year in order to build experience; for him, a three-month suspension might actually sting. It’s a tough break — but perhaps a good indication that 135 is where he belongs right now.