The most unreliable fighter in mixed martial arts has done it again, folks. UFC.com confirms that former Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo has withdrawn from his scheduled UFC 177 match against Scott Jorgensen “due to medical reasons.”
This is the same guy who no-showed the weigh-ins for Legacy FC 25 last November due to a reported stomach flu, blew weight by 3.5 pounds before his win over Elias Garcia in January, pulled out of a Legacy FC title fight against Damacio Page this past May due to “personal reasons,” then withdrew from the main event of Legacy FC 34 last month for undisclosed reasons, just before signing with the UFC. In retrospect, it’s kind of baffling that the UFC signed this flake in the first place — although the promotion hedged its bets by burying Cejudo vs. Jorgensen on the UFC 177 prelims.
That turned out to be a wise move, because at least the UFC doesn’t have to scramble to replace yet another main card bout for Saturday’s event. On the other hand, UFC 177 now features just nine fights, and is made up of 38.9% non-wiki fighters, which is friggin’ awful. (UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le still holds the modern non-wiki record, at 65%, but at least that card didn’t come with a $55 price tag.)
We can’t tell whether Cejudo’s struggles are purely physical — as in, he should really be competing at bantamweight, and his body is rebelling against him — or psychological, as past critiques of his motivation and commitment have suggested. Maybe he saw this GIF and got nervous. At any rate, it’s possible that this MMA thing just isn’t for Henry Cejudo, at least not at the highest level.
Update: MMAJunkie reports that a bad weight cut was indeed the reason for Cejudo’s withdrawal:
Cejudo’s second attempt to shed pounds resulted in nausea and cramping that prompted a checkup from UFC officials, who elected to pull the fighter from the card rather than risk further complications with additional weight cutting, [Cejudo's manager] William McFarlane told MMAjunkie.
“He’s OK,” McFarlane said. “It just goes back to all the issues related to when these guys cut weight. They dehydrate themselves to the point where there’s adverse effects. There’s nothing permanent, but it’s just a safety issue”…
Cejudo weighed in at 137 pounds on Tuesday, according to McFarlane, and then dropped to 130 pounds on Thursday night. The UFC believed the fighter was on track to make the flyweight limit, the manager added.
This morning, however, Cejudo began experiencing complications. McFarlane said he called UFC site coordinator Burt Watson, who evaluated the fighter and determined he shouldn’t cut any more weight.
The UFC then notified the California State Athletic Commission, which will oversee the pay-per-view card. CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster said he was informed that Cejudo, who had met the medical requirements to receive a fight license, had suffered a medical issue and couldn’t fight.
McFarlane said he planned to meet with the UFC later today to discuss Cejudo’s future. He didn’t rule out the fighter competing in the bantamweight division and added that a planned appearance at UFC on FOX 13, which takes place Dec. 13 in his hometown of Phoenix, was now in question.
Update #2: According to UFC president Dana White, Cejudo won’t be welcomed back as a flyweight, but he’s welcome to fight in the UFC at bantamweight.