Pedro Munhoz: Henry Cejudo should fight me next, not Brandon Moreno

Pedro Munhoz has faced some of the all-time best in the bantamweight division, from champions to contenders. Now he has a new name in mind for a future opponent.

Munhoz meets unranked prospect Kyler Phillips this Saturday on the undercard of UFC 299 in Miami, and told MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast that he wouldn’t like to end his career without competing against former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo.

“We’re the same age, he’s a legend of the sport, really good at what he does,” Munhoz said. “He’s not in the prime of his career — not a knock whatsoever, this is how the sport works. I think it would be a good fight, I would like to see happen in the future.”

Cejudo dropped a decision to Merab Dvalishvili in his most recent UFC bout and voiced his interest in facing ex-flyweight champion Brandon Moreno next.

Munhoz prefers his idea more.

“It would make more sense [to fight me] at bantamweight than [Moreno] at flyweight,” said Munhoz, whose résumé includes bouts with Jose Aldo, Dominick Cruz, Sean O’Malley, Aljamain Sterling, Frankie Edgar, Cody Garbrandt, and John Dodson.

Munhoz said he was initially approached about matchups with Ricky Simon and Umar Nurmagomedov, but the final offer from the UFC was Kyler Phillips at UFC 299.

The Brazilian veteran revealed he recently signed a new deal with the UFC and foresees himself competing at the highest level for “two or there more years,” but isn’t obsessed with chasing top-ranked opponents anymore.

“I don’t know who does the rankings,” Munhoz said. “Dominick Cruz doesn’t fight in two years and he’s still ranked at No. 12. Nothing against him, I even like him as a person and I think he’s a good athlete, but the thing about the rankings is that it doesn’t even make sense. I believe there’s other purpose behind the rankings, and I stopped caring a long time ago. I took this fight with [Chris] Gutierrez who was way behind me, and took the fight with Kyler Phillips now, who isn’t even ranked.”

Munhoz defeated Gutierrez via decision in April 2023, but then lost a short-notice decision to Marlon Vera in August after taking the fight to replace an injured Cejudo. The American Top Team bantamweight said he sees openings in Philips’ game to attack at UFC 299, and being good at breaking down opponents is key to his post-fighting career.

Munhoz sees “no reason to stop” fighting now. He, however, is already working with former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown in a transition to a coaching role.

“I’m already taking my first steps as a coach, replacing some [coaches] at American Top Team in a development program we have at American Top Team, for athletes that are migrating to MMA,” Munhoz said. “Mike Brown and I work on this program together and it’s something I see myself doing for a long time. I feel fine fighting and I’m always testing myself against younger fighters. I feel I’m getting better every day too, despite the losses I’ve had in the past few years.”