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Henry Cejudo Believes He’s The “Face of The UFC” And Wants a Raise

There’s no question that Henry Cejudo’s [1] stock has never been higher, and the UFC’s new champ-champ wants a raise accordingly.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

The flyweight champ battled Marlon Moraes for the vacated bantamweight title at UFC 238 on Saturday, and Cejudo secured the belt via a third-round stoppage. Not only was it an awe-inspiring victory because Cejudo was punished with leg kicks early on, but because it was revealed afterward he injured his ankle during fight week. [2]

With the victory, Cejudo becomes just the fourth fighter in UFC history to become a champ-champ. While talking with the media afterward, the Olympic Gold Medal wrestler had this to say (quotes via MMA Junkie [3]):

“I need to meet with Dana White,” Cejudo said. “I need a meeting with him because I need heavyweight money.”

“I feel like I’m the face of the UFC now, and I want to be paid like one,” he said. “Dana White has been great to me. He’s been really good – I have nothing bad to say. But I want to make heavyweight money. I want to change this game.”

So, sure; a lot of folks will likely disagree with Cejudo’s take that he’s the “face” of the UFC. After all, despite Cejudo’s decorated career, there’s no question that fighters like Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Jon Jones etc, among others, have bigger followings (for example, Cejudo has just over 50,000 followers on Twitter, while Khabib has over 700k, Jones has over 2 million and McGregor has over 7 million…).

But, you would think Cejudo’s fanbase and profile is going to increase over the coming months, and it could do so dramatically. In terms of a raise, Cejudo’s case for one is pretty strong. As this is being written, the fighter purses for UFC 238 haven’t been released. But, for Cejudo’s quick, stoppage win over T.J. Dillashaw in January, his guaranteed pay was $350,000.

All this aside, it’s going to be very interesting to see who Cejudo faces next, and what title he’s booked to defend. Could it be Aljamain Sterling at 135? Or the winner of the June 29th bout between Joseph Benavidez and Jussier “Formiga” at 125?