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What?! Cejudo fires longtime coach live on Countdown to UFC 298


We’re coming into UFC 298 fight week, and you know what that means: it’s time for another episode of UFC Countdown!

The Countdown series gets you a behind the scenes look into the biggest fights on upcoming pay-per-views. It’s been going on since UFC 83 sixteen years ago, so it can feel a little stale sometimes. But this episode had a hard-hitting moment where Henry Cejudo fires his coach in front of the cameras.

Henry Cejudo has been training with Eric Albarracin for over a decade. Albarracin was there with Cejudo through his rocky start in the UFC and helped “Triple C” become a double champion. He went off with Henry into the wilderness after Cejudo decided to retire in 2020, and helped him come back for his fight against Aljamain Sterling in 2023.

That’s a fight that Cejudo lost via split decision. And apparently the result was bad enough that Henry decided to change things up for his UFC 298 fight against Merab Dvalishvili on February 17th.

“You were with me from my last Olympic trials, you’ve been there for me,” Cejudo tells an emotional Albarracin. “But as of right now, I just want to let you know that for this camp, dude, I’m getting rid of specific coaches, man. That’s you included, dude.”

“Sometimes you are too close to somebody and people just get too comfortable,” Cejudo explained to the Countdown crew later.

Albarracin takes the awkward on-camera situation with about as much grace as one can given the circumstances.

“The goal has always been the same,” he said. “For you to be the greatest combat sports athlete of all time. And to me, that was a dream come true.”

“This is why this man is the GOAT coach,” Cejudo said, slapping a teary Albarracin on the shoulder. “The most unselfish human that you will ever meet. Captain Eric Albarracin.”

It’s a bold strategy for Cejudo, given the stellar reputation Albarracin has garnered at Fight Ready MMA in Scottsdale, Arizona over the years. Let’s see how it works out for him.

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