Jon Jones was quick to bestow the title of P4P #1 on Henry Cejudo after he made it clear that such distinctions mean little to him in the grand scheme of things.
Cejudo has made a very consistent habit of both proving people wrong and shocking the world in recent times, beating Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, and Marlon Moraes back-to-back-to-back to establish himself as the fourth dual-weight world champion in the history of the UFC.
Directly after handing Moraes a third-round TKO defeat, Cejudo declared himself to be the greatest athlete in combat sports history – a hefty claim but one that makes more sense than most would admit, given Henry’s status as a gold medalist in the Olympics.
Speaking during his recent appearance on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show, Bones was asked by the host if he believed that Cejudo’s claims to being the sport’s pound-for-pound king were true.
“He is. He is. Absolutely.”
“I don’t know. Because he calls himself that, so I’ll give it to him. I feel like I don’t have to say these things. If that makes sense, I don’t have to say these things. People should say that for you. If Henry claims it, then, I guess it’s his. I wish nothing but the best for him though. He’s great for the sport, man.
“He’s a hell of a Christian brother and he wants to be the man. I think he’s taking a page out of [Muhammad] Ali’s book by calling himself the man. And it worked for Ali, so, I’ll let Henry have his – I’m not in competition with anyone. I feel like a lot of people are in competition with me.”
Jones is certainly in a league of his own at this stage – a true great of two eras who is now in the process of beating down the rising stars of the light-heavyweight division after dismantling several of the legends who preceded him.
There are few, of course, Jon included, who actually dispute his claim to being the world’s best fighter but this tongue-in-cheek response certainly does indicate that his priorities have shifted somewhat, now that he finds himself leaps and bounds above the competition with little else to prove.
As for Cejudo, only time will tell if he will be able to legitimately insert his name into that conversation.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena