Henry Cejudo put his bantamweight title on the line when he faced former 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz. The pair squared off in the scheduled for five rounds championship bout, which co-headlined UFC 249. The fight card aired live on pay-per-view from VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida on May 10 (AEST).
It was all over in the second round when Cejudo landed left knee to the head, dropping his opponent to the canvas. He followed it up with a number of punches, which ultimately led to the refereeing stopping and waving the fight off just two seconds prior to the bell.
The victory marked the first successful 135-pound title defense to Henry Cejudo. Earlier in his career he also held the belt in a flyweight class, as well as earned Gold in Men’s Freestyle Wrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
In the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan inside the Octagon, Cejudo said he was done with fighting. He retires with the record of 16-2.
“I am retiring today, Joe,” Cejudo said. “I am 33 years old, I am happy with my career.” He then thanked everyone, concluding with “‘Triple C’ is out.”
Cruz, however, expressed that the stoppage was premature. With the defeat he drops to 22-3, which is also his second loss in a row.
“I am not happy with the stoppage obviously, because I have specifically asked the ref to let me go until I was out,” Cruz said. “I was standing up. If I stayed on the floor – I get it. But I am working my way up.”