Before the backstory ... let's look at the tale of the tape:
Ok, here's the deal ... we spoke with the UFC superstar just days after his huge victory over T.J. Dillashaw ... when he confirmed he's got the BIGGEST crush on one half of the WWE's famous tag-team duo.
Earlier this week, Cejudo told ESPN's Ariel Helwani he developed a thing for Bella after meeting her on the flight to NYC for the Dillashaw fight. She made a video saying she was interested ...
Now, Cejudo tells us he's so infatuated with Nikki ... if it came down to wrestling with her ex-BF in the squared circle -- he'd do it ... AND COME OUT VICTORIOUS!!!
"Is that even a question? Do you smell what The Messenger is cooking?!" Cejudo tells us.
"I'm talking about a ladder match. I'll be the first one to get off that damn ring. And then, I'll be waiting for Bella right at the corner, man!"
Of course, Nikki doesn't seem like she'd mind that one bit ... she took to Twitter on Tuesday to respond to Henry's advances, saying she wants to have a "celebratory wine" with him soon!!!
Translation ... it's GREAT to be Henry Cejudo these days!!!