Henry Cejudo might quickly make his ultimate UFC stroll.
An Olympic champion and former two-division UFC champion, Cejudo meets prime bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili on Feb. 17 on the primary card of UFC 298. It’ll be Cejudo’s second UFC look since popping out of retirement in 2023, and after dropping a cut up choice to Aljamain Sterling in his earlier bid to recapture the title, Cejudo admitted that he’ll be compelled to make some powerful choices if he falls quick once more to Dvalishvili.
“That is for the No. 1 contender spot,” Cejudo mentioned lately on The HJR Experiment. “I feel after dropping to Aljamain, I feel if I used to be going to go possibly down the ladder, I’d most likely be completed with preventing once more. Yeah, man. As a result of it’s identical to, this sport is tough, man. Coaching camps, having two children and issues like that.
“It’s all or nothing, man.”
Cejudo, 36, gained his first UFC title in August 2018 with a shocking upset of then-flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson. After defending that belt with a 32-second knockout of T.J. Dillashaw, Cejudo moved up in weight and captured a second strap by knocking out Marlon Moraes in June 2019 to assert bantamweight gold. Cejudo retired from MMA one 12 months later following a profitable bantamweight title protection over Dominick Cruz at UFC 249.
Cejudo teased a possible comeback for a number of years afterward earlier than lastly getting back from a three-year layoff to problem Sterling at UFC 288. Now Cejudo is tasked with stopping the momentum of Sterling’s teammate Dvalishvili, who rides a division-best nine-fight win streak. The winner will possible be in pole place to problem the victor of UFC 299’s title rematch between UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera.
“It’s extra of a motivation of vengeance,” Cejudo mentioned of his present mindset. “You realize what I’m saying? It’s not all the time the love [of the game]. Like no, not likely, man.
“Even coming again to the game, I used to be like, ‘Alright man, I need to check myself. I just like the matchup towards Sterling. It has been three years.’ However it was additionally the monetary compensation. There’s nothing simpler to generate profits than the struggle sport.”