Former UFC champion Henry Cejudo seeks out another challenge as he looks to put retirement on hold.
Henry Cejudo wants Aljamain Sterling’s training partner next
While Henry Cejudo had nothing but kind words for UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling after losing to him at UFC 288, the former champion is far from done with the fight camp.
Cejudo responded to a call-out by Merab Dvalishvili, a close friend and a training partner of Sterling. While the 36-year-old was non-committal about competing again immediately after, that appears to have changed.
“This shit is far from over,” Cejudo posted on Instagram. “I want (Dvalishvili) head on a plate.”
Cejudo tagged UFC Boston in the post, indicating he wants to return at August 19 when the promotion heads to Boston. That event has yet to be confirmed.
Merab Dvalishvili riding high right now
Dvalishvili has won nine consecutive fights, which is tied with Sterling for the most in the division. The 32-year-old recently topped former champion Petr Yan, which came on the heels of a victory over Jose Aldo.
He has also earned wins over Marlon Moraes and John Dodson.
However, Dvalishvili has vowed to not challenge Sterling, and Sterling the same, leaving him as somewhat of a gatekeeper in the division. It also places him in a nice position should Sterling drop the title while he is on his current run of victories.
Does Cejudo earn a title fight with a win?
What might have Cejudo ready to go right away again is the fact that knocking off Dvalishvili not only puts a pain to Sterling, but would likely position him for another crack at the belt.
Sterling is expected to take on Sean O’Malley next, and with a win, Cejudo would be ready for the winner. Of course, if O’Malley wins and Dvalishvili tops Cejudo, he could jump to the front of the line as the next challenger as well.
The Olympic gold medalist topped Dominick Cruz, Moraes, TJ Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson before walking away as bantamweight champion in 2020. The itch to return, though, pushed Cejudo out of retirement and back into training and fighting once more.
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