Sean O’Malley has started a rumor concerning former two-division champion Henry Cejudo, stating that he’s broke and desperate to unretire.
“I heard from someone close to Henry that he’s got like $37 in the bank and he’s literally just trying to do anything to get some money and trying to book a fight,” O’Malley said on The MMA Hour.
O’Malley brought up these alleged money issues again later in the interview, when discussing T.J. Dillashaw fighting at the same card with a badly injured shoulder.
“I don’t know why (Dillashaw) would go into a fight that high level and fight for a title, when you’re that compromised. Unless you’re hurting like Henry, and you need some extra cheddar. That’s the only thing I could think of. I like TJ, I don’t mind the guy, but I don’t understand why you’re going through with that fight.”
At the end of the day, O’Malley believes the next title fight that should be booked is him vs Aljamain Sterling, which the champion seems to agree on.
“I don’t know, Henry’s like opening main card, co-main event kind of a dude. Even if him and Aljo go fight it’ll be some co-main event on some card,” O’Malley said. “It’s just hard to say. I feel like every time we talk about this guy, it’s like is he actually coming back? I don’t know, I don’t really put much thought into that.
“I can’t imagine them wanting that Aljo vs Henry — like does anybody really want that? I don’t really see (UFC) being like ‘oh we want this,’” O’Malley said. “I really am the money fight, as far as if we’re trying to sell pay-per-views. I’ll obviously do five times whatever Henry would do.”
According to O’Malley he will also need to sit down with the UFC and get a new deal before anything else.
“I want to sit down and renegotiate my contract too because I’ve been in a lot of big pay-per-views. I know where I stand as far as selling pay-per-views,” O’Malley said. “Some people, I get it, I understand why they’re not getting pay-per-view points, but I should be.”
It’s worth noting that Cejudo being linked to a possible bout against Sterling could be enough reason for the current number one ranked bantamweight in O’Malley to start this rumor and campaign for a title shot. That being said it’s not hard to imagine finances being a primary motivating factor for Cejudo’s return.
Cejudo pretty much admitted that retiring as a two-division champion was a negotiation tactic to get more money, but unfortunately for him, it just didn’t pan out. UFC has largely ignored his pleas, even after years of constantly calling everyone out from three divisions, and returning to the USADA testing pool. He still doesn’t have a fight booked, but by the time he returns, it’ll probably be three years since his last bout — and last fight purse.
It’s also interesting to see if UFC will also cave to O’Malley’s demands for pay-per-view points, or if those negotiations will also put him on ice and open up an avenue for Cejudo to jump the line and actually come back for real.