Four-time Olympic champion and 19-time World Champion gymnast Simone Biles has featured in one of the biggest stories to come out of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. That story revolves around Biles opting not to compete in the team and individual finals due to anxiety and something gymnasts call “the twisties”, a state in which an athlete finds it difficult to “find the floor” and thus can not trust themselves to perform extremely risky manoeuvres safely.
Biles’ decision to prioritize her health over the pursuit of more medals has been heralded by her fellow gymnasts, other Olympians and figures across pop culture. However, some have bemoaned Biles’ personal choice.
One of those detractors is UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping, who called Biles ‘weak’. Bisping’s comments were met with a rebuttal from Olympic champion gymnast (and MMA fan) Dominique Moceanu.
Former Olympic wrestling champion and UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo has now shared his opinion on Biles, questioning her decision under the guise of ‘tough love’.
Here’s what he had to say:
My take on Simone Biles pulling out of the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/Y7z4AJWejR— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 30, 2021
“I believe Simone Biles pulling out of this thing is like, I think she really needs to check herself,” Cejudo said (ht MMA Weekly). “I think there’s time for a little bit of tough love. If she was my sister, this is exactly what I would do. So, I would never say something that I wouldn’t do to my personal family or anything like that. Or even for me, because I do believe sometimes we do need a nice kick in the arse.”
Cejudo went on to say that he felt Biles shouldn’t blame the media for any pressure she might feel. “If you start to think you’re the GOAT and the greatest of all time, then that’s on you.”
“I do believe she made a mistake,” continued Cejudo. “I think now she kind of tends to take it back knowing that a lot of things are backfiring. But if I had to give my two cents and I hope she listens to this, I’m not going to tag her. But if one of you guys want to tag her and she ends up listening to it, I think it would help her a lot.
“There’s two things that pressure can do. Pressure could either break, or it could make diamonds. Pressure could either bust pipes or it can create and make diamonds. You choose what to do for it, or what to do with it, remember that.”
Cejudo ended his message by saying he hoped Biles would continue to be successful in the future.
“Remember that there’s a reason why you are an Olympic champion. There’s nothing new. It’s all in you, you’re going against you, and I hope you can come back from that.”
Cejudo won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in freestyle wrestling’s 55 kg category. Cejudo has also won gold at the Pan American Games, Pan American Championships and US. National Championships.
He transitioned to MMA in 2013 and went 6-0 before signing with the UFC a year later. His debut was a decision win over Dustin Kimura. After wins over Chris Cariaso, Chico Camus and Jussier Formiga, Cejudo earned a title shot versus Demetrious Johnson.
At 2016’s UFC 197 Johnson TKO’d Cejudo, handing the Olympian his first ever MMA loss. Cejudo then lost a split decision to Joseph Benavidez.
After those losses Cejudo beat Wilson Reis and Sergio Pettis to lock up a second title shot. This time, at UFC 227 in 2018, he beat Johnson by split decision. Cejudo then defended his title with a TKO over then bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.
After Dillashaw was suspended for EPO use and his bantamweight title was vacated, Cejudo went up in weight and won that belt with a TKO win over Marlon Moraes. He then defended the bantamweight crown with a TKO win over Dominick Cruz at last year’s UFC 249. Cejudo then announced his retirement from MMA.