Now Henry Cejudo has the world’s attention.
The UFC star has been a phenomenal force in the Octagon this year, becoming a dual champion of the flyweight and bantamweight divisions — but out of competition he’s been something of a laughing stock.
The 32-year-old from Los Angeles has been both admired and pitied for his relentless, public pursuit of WWE diva Nikki Bella — the former fiance of Hollywood star John Cena.
Cejudo, who has made his name as the self-proclaimed King of Cringe, has shamelessly chased Bella’s affections on social media ever since they had a chance meeting on a flight at the start of the year.
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His seemingly clueless ability to shrug off countless rejections from the WWE legend has made the ongoing saga something of a trainwreck.
Cejudo took to social media on Saturday to share a photo of himself with Bella and her WWE twin Brie Bella after a scheduled meeting in Arizona.
As you can imagine, after five months of rejections, Cejudo was pretty pleased with his efforts and wanted the world to know about it.
He also posted a video to his Instagram account where the Bella Twins declare: “Cringe is the new cool”.
Cejudo’s accomplishment at meeting up with the woman of his dreams divided UFC commentators on Saturday.
Some added it as another win to his sizzling nine-fight win streak in the UFC.
Others not so much.
Cejudo’s appearance doesn’t change the fact that Brie Bella is happily married to WWE star Daniel Bryan or the fact that Nikki Bella has moved on with Dancing With The Stars personality Artem Chigvintsev — and has been gushing about their relationship, her first since splitting with Cena last year, in recent social media posts.
The Bella Twins posted on their Twitter account on Saturday that Cejudo was simply hanging out with the twins because he will feature in an upcoming edition of the Bella Twins Podcast.
Nikki Bella, 35, began dating Cena in 2012 and famously accepted his marriage proposal after their mixed tag-team match at WrestleMania in April, 2017.
But 12 months later she cancelled their planned wedding and called off the engagement over Cena’s rumoured unwillingness to have children.
The whole mess for Cejudo began when he openly declared his interest in Bella in an episode of the Ariel Helwani Podcast just days after their chance-meeting in the first-class sections of a flight.
He followed it up with a poem for the whole world to see. Yep, a poem.
“Nikki Bella’s been like my biggest crush,” Cejudo told ESPN.
“I was sitting next to her and I’m thinking ‘how am I going to approach this?’
“My little niece is nine years old and she loves the Bella twins. She was Nikki Bella for Halloween. So I approached them and said this is my niece, would you give her a shoutout, it would mean the world to me. So I used my niece to talk to her. (Now) they’re following me (on social media).”
God bless, Henry Cejudo.