The UFC bantamweight title is officially vacant.
MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin reported Monday morning that UFC officials confirmed the news following now former champion Henry Cejudo’s absence from the company’s weekly rankings.
Cejudo retired after his UFC 249 victory over Dominick Cruz which many felt was simply a move to get more money from the UFC. If he does return, it will be without a title.
There has been no formal plan announced for what happens next, but there are some possibilities. Dana White had previously said that top contender Petr Yan would be involved in any title fight scenario. However, he would have to compete on the mysterious “Fight Island” as he doesn’t live in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen will face off at June’s UFC 250, potentially setting up Yan’s opponent in an vacant title bout. However, the top ranked contender — Marlon Moraes — is without an opponent so he could be paired up with Yan as well.
Several days ago, MMA Junkie reported that they will rematch Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez this July for the vacant flyweight title. With them in need of main events and restricted by pandemic-related travel issues around the world, having active champions is a major need in the current environment.