Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight Henry Cejudo has been burned but he’s not broken.
On Monday, as wildfires raged in Northern California and forced mass evacuations, news surfaced that Cejudo had sustained a broken ankle while escaping to safety amidst the widespread blaze. A story from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser mentioned “The Messenger” specifically: Cejudo was attending a celebrity fundraiser organized by Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott at the Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, Calif., when the the encroaching flames forced athletes and attendees to vacate the premises.
Slusser’s report cited former two-time American League Cy Young-winning pitcher and World Series MVP Bret Saberhagen and several others in attendance, stating that Cejudo had broken his ankle in a desperate attempt to escape the dangerous situation, jumping from a second-floor balcony at Santa Rosa’s Fountaingrove Inn.
MMAFighting confirmed that the former UFC flyweight title challenger had in fact not broken his ankle but had sustained burns to his right foot. However, the 2008 Olympic freestyle wrestling champion did lose his gold medal in the ordeal.
At press time, 13 have been declared dead in the ongoing wildfires that have devastated Northern California for the last three days, with hundreds reported missing and thousands more displaced from their homes.
Cejudo, 30, last saw action on at UFC 215 on Sept. 9 in Edmonton, Alberta, where he ran roughshod over fellow former UFC title challenger Wilson Reis, knocking the Brazilian out in the second round. He is still tentatively scheduled to face Sergio Pettis on Dec. 2 at UFC 218 in Detroit, though it is presently unknown how the incident will impact his fight preparation. Cejudo’s manager Ali Ibrahim Abdelaziz and the UFC have yet to comment on the fight’ status.