Retired Henry Cejudo says he 'would love to fight' Max Holloway

Cejudo: I would love to fight Holloway (0:51)

Retired champion Henry Cejudo expresses interest in a fight with Max Holloway. (0:51)

Retired two-weight UFC champion Henry Cejudo is not committed to a return to competition, but says there is one name that would entice him to come back more than any other: Max Holloway.

Cejudo (16-2) shocked the mixed martial arts world when he announced his retirement last May, following a 135-pound title defense against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249. The 34-year-old appeared to be in the prime of his career, and was considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Since then, Cejudo, who has won titles at 125 and 135 pounds, has continued to stay in headlines and tease a potential comeback. He has never mentioned Holloway, a former 145-pound featherweight champion, as a potential opponent until an interview this week with ESPN.

"I have never called out Max Holloway," Cejudo said. "Even when he had the belt, I have never called him out. I feel like in the future, I would love to fight him. People would not believe me that I could beat him. He's so damn tall and what he's been able to do.

"I love that challenge. I love the fact people don't think I could beat him. He's taller than me and has inflicted more damage on different people, but I feel like I'm too smart and too skilled."

Holloway (22-6) held the UFC's undisputed featherweight title from 2017 to 2019, when he surrendered the belt to current champion Alexander Volkanovski. Holloway lost to Volkanovski again in a very narrow five-round decision, before bouncing back in a big way in January with a win over Calvin Kattar.

At the moment, Holloway appears to be poised to face the winner of this month's featherweight title fight between Volkanovski and Brian Ortega on March 27. Cejudo said he "knows" Volkanovski is going to retain his title against Ortega, and would want to face Volkanovski or Holloway once a trilogy is up.

"Max and [featherweight contender Zabit Magomedsharipov] need to fight, and the winner of that will face Alexander Volkanovski for the title," Cejudo said. "And I think somebody like Max Holloway would say, 'I want to hurt this kid [Cejudo].' Whereas Alexander Volkanovski is more like, 'Oh, is that twerp still talking?' Max Holloway would want it, and I like that about him. And I would like to be the underdog."

In terms of a 135-pound return, it does not seem as if anything interests Cejudo. Nothing realistic, at least.

"If there was anything at 135 to get my attention, it would be to fight [champion] Aljamain Sterling and [former champion] Petr Yan at the same time," Cejudo said. "Change them out each round."