By Alistair Hendrie
A hush filled the Octagon as Henry Cejudo announced his retirement, speaking moments after he’d knocked out Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 on May 9. That same silence stretched over the empty bowels of the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville and made Cejudo’s declaration that he was walking away even more stunning and blunt.
He’d just defended his bantamweight belt against the division’s leader in WEC/UFC wins and as such, plenty of pundits were baffled as to why he’d quit so suddenly at the age of 33. This week, though, his manager Ali Abdelaziz said Cejudo might fight again, meaning he could perform the same U-turn on retirement as many other UFC stars.
Georges St-Pierre took a hiatus from the sport after he defended his welterweight crown a ninth time against Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in 2013, earning a decision which most onlookers felt should have gone to the American challenger. St-Pierre, who was plagued with ACL injuries throughout his career, wanted a break and was sick of the razzmatazz that went with sitting at the top tier of fighting. In 2015, UFC president Dana White laughed off rumors of a return for “Rush.” What happened next? St-Pierre returned at middleweight in 2017, submitting Michael Bisping for the title in his 185 pounds debut.
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Check out Alistair Hendrie's Kindle book, Fight Game: The Untold Story of Women's MMA in Britain, featuring interviews with Joanne Calderwood, Rosi Sexton and more