Is Henry Cejudo the real G.O.A.T?
Olympic Gold medalist in freestyle wrestling, UFC's Bantamweight and Lightweight Champion and No. 4 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, these are all accomplishments of one man, Henry 'The Messenger' Cejudo.
At UFC 238, after becoming the fourth ever two-division champion he said that he wants to be the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter of the UFC.
Defeating opponents like Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson, Moraes and T.J. Dillashaw has only added weight to his recent claims. He was not very subtle while expressing his interests of climbing up the weight ladder and going after the featherweight title, to become UFC's first three-division champion.
I am the greatest combat athlete of all time, and I just stole the title of a best pound-for-pound fighter too. Cejudo said in the post-match interview.
UFC 238 was his night. After having a tough first round against Moraes, he bounced back in the next two rounds, making Moraes look like as if he was just fighting for his life. Cejudo owned the night.
What makes Cejudo the G.O.A.T.?
The Greatest Of All Times? This can be the opening statement while introducing Henry Cejudo. But what makes him so great?
His ability to shift gears and get accustomed to various weight divisions and wrestling forms, backed with his grit and determination is what makes him 'great'.
He's not undefeated, he has had his share of failures, and like a phoenix, he emerged from the ashes. Inside the octagon, even a pinch of bad decision makes things go south very easily. Johnson vs Cejudo is the best example of that. The instincts of a wrestler-turned-MMA fighter make him good at his front foot and moving forward, but the same isn't the case while moving backwards, which in-turns made him vulnerable while the opponent is on the attacking front.
The inclusion of Boxing, Muay Thai, and Shotokan Karate has improved his stance and striking abilities dramatically. Picking up the excellent footwork form Karate and strong striking abilities from old-school boxing, he has evolved phenomenally as a fighter.
He has a very holistic training schedule and is trained to work on all four limbs, hence, the weight shift becomes easier. His wrestler's instinct allows him to grab the opponent for take-down and grab the opponent to put him down. At the same time, his improved footwork and body stance allows him to 'fly' and at the same time, use the legs to give heavy blows to the body.
Aged just 32 years old, 'The Messenger' has a lot of time left and he certainly can be the first ever three-division champion of the UFC. A dream which seemed to be impossible a few years back can now turn into reality. Holding a professional record of 14-2 and a 4 match win streak, Cejudo has proved his mettle inside the octagon and is a now a force to be reckoned with.
With Jussier Formiga as the #1 contender in the Flyweight division, it'll be interesting to see what's the next for Cujedo, given that he wants to go for the Featherweight title which is currently held by Max Holloway.
With all these questions in mind, one thing is for sure, this ride of 'The Messenger' is going to be magical.