One of many world’s finest fighters is not a UFC titleholder.

Henry Cejudo is taken into account retired and has vacated the UFC bantamweight title, promotion officers confirmed with ESPN on Monday. Cejudo’s title was faraway from the title web page and the official rankings on the UFC web site Sunday.

ESPN has Cejudo, a former Olympic wrestling gold medalist, ranked because the No. three pound-for-pound MMA fighter on the earth. After efficiently defending the bantamweight belt in opposition to Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 earlier this month, Cejudo introduced afterward that he could be hanging up the gloves. There was extensive hypothesis, although, that it was a negotiation ploy to get the UFC to signal him to a extra profitable contract. Cejudo not being a champion doubtless dampens that hypothesis.

In a social media publish on Monday, the previous UFC two-division champion sounded fairly snug along with his resolution to depart the Octagon.

It stays unclear if Cejudo has eliminated himself from the USADA drug-testing pool. If he does so, he wouldn’t have the ability to return to the UFC till he places himself again within the pool for a interval of six months. A request for remark to Cejudo’s staff was not instantly returned Monday. His supervisor Ali Abdelaziz beforehand instructed TMZ that it was doubtless Cejudo would return to the Octagon, maybe as early as this summer time.

Cejudo (16-2) is barely the fourth particular person in UFC historical past to carry titles in two completely different weight courses on the identical time (bantamweight, flyweight). The Arizona resident is on a six-fight profitable streak with victories over standouts Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw and Cruz over that interval. Cejudo, 33, had not misplaced since 2016.

The UFC has not formally introduced its plan for a future bantamweight title combat. However UFC president Dana White mentioned after UFC 249 that any 135-pound championship bout would doubtless embrace Petr Yan, ESPN’s No. 4-ranked bantamweight who’s on a nine-fight profitable streak.