Despite having lost his last two fights, Henry Cejudo immediately returned to title contention with a big knockout victory over Wilson Reis on Saturday at UFC 215 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Cejudo had lost in his attempt to wrest the UFC flyweight belt from Demetrious Johnson two fights ago. He followed that with an exciting fight, but a loss, to Joseph Benavidez. Those being the only two fighters ranked above him, Cejudo didn’t have far to go to get back in title contention, he merely had to put on an impressive performance, which is exactly what he did in Edmonton.
Coming off of a loss to Johnson himself, Reis was also looking to remain relevant in title talks, but Cejudo would have none of it.
Cejudo started the fight strong, lighting up Reis on the feet from the opening bell. He used his boxing with a newfound confidence, but also mixed in an assortment of kicks to put Reis on the backfoot early.
As the opening round wore on, Cejudo mixed in a Thai clinch followed by hard knees, but everything, whether kicks or knees, was followed by punch combinations. It was an array of strikes that we had yet seen from Cejudo in his young MMA career.
“I’ve been only fighting for four years man. I’m just scratching the surface,” he later admitted.
As good as he looked in round one, Cejudo immediately stepped it up a notch in round two, not giving Reis time to think, let alone institute any offense of his own.
Cejudo moved in and quickly dropped Reis with a straight right. Swarming his downed opponent, Cejudo followed with several well placed right hands to finish the job just 25 seconds into round two.
The victory moves Cejudo to 11-2 and places him well for another shot at Johnson, if the champ is able to get past Ray Borg, once their fight, which had been slated for UFC 215, is rescheduled.