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Henry Cejudo says talks to face Ryan Garcia are serious

The recently retired UFC star has beefed with Garcia on social media.

UFC 249 Ferguson v Gaethje Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Henry Cejudo, who recently retired from mixed martial arts after a May 9 win over Dominic Cruz in a successful UFC bantamweight title defense, has recently had some social media beef with Ryan Garcia. That can be said for about 40 different guys the last month or so, but Cejudo tells TMZ that there are serious talks to match the two in Saudi Arabia.

“I really don’t think [Ryan Garcia’s] that good. I really don’t, and I think with a proper team, the right game plan, I believe I can make him bend the knee in front of Oscar De La Hoya. ... Ryan Garcia, you absolutely make me sick man. I would make you bend the knee so quick, you have no idea. You can throw about 100 punches, but it only takes one of mine to make you bend the knee, so sign the contract, baby!”

The 33-year-old Cejudo (16-2 in MMA) is a terrific mixed martial artist, a two-champion in UFC, and to be clear, MMA bantamweight is 135, the same as boxing’s lightweight division, where Garcia (20-0, 17 KO) fights.

Cejudo’s retirement is a fighting retirement and he’s not an old man yet, so chances were always at least 50/50 that he’d probably return in some form. A boxing payday to face the 21-year-old Garcia could be worth the gamble, and to be clear, it’d be a gamble. Cejudo’s real base in MMA was as a freestyle wrestler; he won gold at the 2008 Olympics. But he does have a boxing background, too, and has shown good stand-up skills in his MMA career.

That said, Cejudo is 5’4” with a 64-inch reach. Garcia is not only 5’10” with a 70-inch reach, but he’s, you know, a very talented professional boxer who has been focused only on boxing for years.

Personally, I don’t think Cejudo has a real shot if it happens, which I don’t mean as disrespect. It’s just following my standard belief that MMA fighters will handily beat boxers in MMA, and and boxers will handily beat MMA fighters in boxing, as long as we’re talking about legitimately skilled fighters. But it’d be great publicity for Garcia and probably a great payday for both, and would also be a wonderful chance for promoter Oscar De La Hoya to take shots at Dana White for a while.

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