Henry Cejudo almost pulled out of UFC 188. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Henry Cejudo’s struggles with the scale appeared to be a thing of the past after he successfully made the 125-pound limit for the second consecutive time ahead of UFC 188, but the Olympic gold medalist had another issue that nearly kept him from fighting Chico Camus on Saturday night.
“I was contemplating on whether to fight or not. A few days ago, I know it sounds weird, but I had a bad taco,” Cejudo said. “And we were throwing up and it was a really hard cut because of my sickness. I did my best. The only reason why I fought was for these Mexican fans. In the United States I’m known as ‘The Golden Boy, and here in Mexico I want to be known as ‘The Aztec Warrior.’”
Despite an apparent bout with food poisoning, Cejudo was able to earn a unanimous decision over Camus in a featured preliminary flyweight clash. It was a far cry from his dominant showing against former No. 1 contender Chris Cariaso at UFC 185 in March, but Cejudo was able to do enough to improve to 3-0 in the Octagon.
“Obviously my eyes were on the prize today,” he said. “I really gave you guys what I had, but what I had wasn’t enough. I’m a little disappointed in myself. I think you guys have seen what I can display. I really felt sluggish.”
That lack of energy was most evident in Cejudo’s wrestling, as he was stuffed on all but one of his 15 takedown attempts. However, the Arizonan’s work rate was reflected in the striking statistics: Cejudo outlanded Camus 62 to 48 in significant strikes and 133 to 59 in total strikes.
Still, it appears that Cejudo has some work to do before he can ascend to the top of the division. Prior to Saturday night, some thought he could propel himself to a flyweight title shot against Demetrious Johnson with a dominant performance. While his goals remain lofty, Cejudo has no problem taking things slowly.
“I wish I could have moved my head a little bit more, countered a little bit. But I fought extremely heavy and I think my whole corner knew that,” he said. “But I go back to the drawing boards. As of right now I’m seeking to become the best in the world, but I’m willing to take my time to do it as well.”