This past weekend, in the co-main event of The Ultimate Fighter season 24 Finale, coaches Joseph Benavidez & Henry Cejudo squared off in a highly anticipated flyweight showdown.With the possibility of a fight with flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson on the line, both men gave the fight everything they had.
Ultimately, the judges scored the fight a split decision for Joseph Benavidez, with Cejudo being deducted a point in the first round likely playing a major part in the decision swinging Benavidez’ way. Despite that, Cejudo, as well as many members of the MMA community, scored the fight in the former Olympian’s favor. Following the fight, Cejudo texted UFC President Dana White, who replied with an apology over the scorecards.
Cejudo recalled the exchange during his appearance on The MMA Hour this week:
“YOU KNOW IT’S BAD WHEN DANA WHITE CALLS YOU TO APOLOGIZE FOR THE JUDGING. HE LITERALLY CALLED ME TWO SECONDS RIGHT AFTER I SENT [A] TEXT MESSAGE TO HIM. HE WAS LIKE, ‘LISTEN HENRY, I APOLOGIZE. I’M SINCERELY SORRY. YOU WON THAT FIGHT. EVERYBODY I TALKED TO — SEAN SHELBY SAID YOU WON THE FIGHT, EVERYBODY THAT WAS RINGSIDE, THERE WAS NOT ONE PERSON IN THAT ARENA THAT THOUGHT YOU DIDN’T WIN THAT FIGHT.'”
“IT WAS JUST A SINCERE APOLOGY AND I DON’T REALLY HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH DANA WHITE,” HE CONTINUED. “I JUST HAPPENED TO TEXT HIM AND HE WAS APOLOGETIC.”
Due to the decision, Cejudo has decided that he will no longer be fighting in Las Vegas due to the fact that he feels that the judges may have been biased against him due to the fact that he stood with Nick Diaz when the eldest Diaz brother was unfairly handed a 5-year suspension for marijuana.
I COUNTED EVERY ROUND, ALL THE SIGNIFICANT STRIKES AND I JUST FELT LIKE IT WAS A COMPLETE ROBBERY,” HE SAID. “IT’S A SHAME WHAT THE JUDGES ARE WILLING TO DO. I WONDER IF IT WAS DUE TO THE BACKING UP NICK DIAZ — THE WHOLE NEVADA ATHLETIC COMMISSION THING. I DON’T KNOW IF THEY STILL HAVE IT OUT FOR ME. I DEFINITELY DO WANT TO FIGHT JOE AGAIN EVENTUALLY, BUT I WON’T FIGHT HIM IN VEGAS.”