On Saturday night, Deiveson Figueiredo put a hellacious beating on four-time Ultimate Fighting Championship title challenger Joseph Benavidez, clinching the vacant 125-pound title in perhaps the most terrifying flyweight performance in the division’s short history. The weekend prior, 27-year old Russian Petr Yan brutally finished former long-reigning featherweight champion Jose Aldo inside four rounds, capturing the vacant bantamweight title and improving to 7-0 inside the Octagon. The vacuum left by Henry Cejudo – who briefly reigned as a two-division titleholder across both weight classes before vacating the 125-pound title in December, then abruptly retiring in May — has finally been filled, and fans are already looking ahead to the exciting new possibilities heralded by this next generation of young champions.
The only hang-up is that Cejudo has had a hard time staying away from the UFC spotlight. Despite promising in his retirement speech at UFC 249 that “Triple C is out, you don’t have to hear my ass no more,” the former Olympic gold medallist has been tweeting prolifically at his successors and is evidently determined to remain at the centre of relevancy. He’s labelled Yan and Figueiredo “rent-a-champs,” “interim champs” and “bozos” while half-heartedly campaigning to challenge 145-pound champion Alex Volkanovski in the hopes of getting a third UFC title around his waist. He’s continued to give interviews, teased super-fights across different promotions, weight classes and sports and generally given off the impression he is very much not ready to hang up the gloves.
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