Cringeworthy King Returns: Henry Cejudo Re-Entering USADA Pool

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Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo Credit: Rodney James Edgar/Cageside Press

The self-styled “King of Cringe” has taken the next step in his return to the UFC.

No cringe. Just straight talk. I’ve entered the USADA pool,” former UFC flyweight and bantamweight double champ Henry Cejudo announced on social media Sunday. “I know I could beat [Alexander Volkanovski]. I want to become the 1st 3-division champion in UFC history. Or, he could shut up the cringe. It would be a treat for fans.”

“Either way, the [King] is back,” Cejudo finished, replacing “King” with a crown emoji.

USADA testing is a requirement of all UFC fighters, with retired fighters returning to action generally facing a four-month drug testing window prior to being given the green light to compete. Exemptions have been granted, though the obvious one didn’t turn out so well.

Cejudo, 35, announced his retirement from MMA after he defeated bantamweight great Dominick Cruz to defend his 135lb title in May of 2020. He has not competed since. Of late, the cringeworthy ex-champ has been appearing on a podcast, The Triple C & Schmo Show, alongside media personality “The Schmo.”

In his absence, Aljamain Sterling has captured and now defended the 135lb title, with both fights coming against Russian standout Petr Yan, who claimed the vacant belt upon Cejudo’s exit from the sport. It seems Triple C, however, has his sights firmly set on making history by chasing the 145lb title held by Alexander Volkanovski.

UFC President Dana White previously dismissed the idea of Cejudo competing for the featherweight title.

“This is a f*cking silly conversation. Silly,” White said at the UFC Vegas 46 post-fight press conference back in January. “If [Cejudo] wants to come back and try to win the title again in his weight class … then [he can] talk about moving up or doing something else.

“But you don’t just f*cking pop up and start calling somebody names and think that you’re going to get a title shot in a different weight class when you’ve been retired for what, two, two-and-a-half years?”

With Volkanovski quickly clearing out the featherweight division (he’s looking at a third fight with Max Holloway as a potential next fight), could White soften his stance on a Cejudo title shot at 145lbs? And are we ready for what is likely to be a whole new level of cringe?

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