Freire (34-5 MMA, 22-5 BMMA), who retained his featherweight title by beating Adam Borics in the Bellator 286 main event on Saturday, continued to express interest in a crossover fight with Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC).
Cejudo thinks Freire isn’t getting his due as a featherweight great, and the best way to prove how good he is would be going up against fellow No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter Volkanovski.
“I say we start challenging the UFC,” Cejudo said on “The Triple C & Schmo Show.” “To me, I’m not a UFC fighter. I’m a fighter that wants to say I am the best, and I believe in competing and going up against anybody that is the best, and if it does happen to be Alexander Volkanovski that they think, give him ‘Pitbull’ (Freire). ‘Pitbull’ has been there, defeated some of the greats. I think it’s time for the crossover.”
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Having trained with Freire, Cejudo admits there’s some bias to his take. But the Olympic gold medalist wrestler pointed to Freire’s first-round knockout of Michael Chandler to claim the lightweight title in 2019 as an example of where he stacks up amongst the elite in the lighter weight divisions.
“I just think Patricio’s IQ, his power in his hands, the fact that he could wrestle,” Cejudo said. “I mean, he’s a real mixed martial artist. I think people need to really pay him respect even though he’s not part of the UFC. He got rid of a guy like Michael Chandler in a minute-and-a-half. Think about it, a real guy that’s a top guy in the world at 155 pounds, this dude got rid of him in a minute-and-a-half, which is crazy. Would Max Holloway or would Alexander Volkanovski do that to somebody like Michael Chandler?”