Henry Cejudo ‘Motivated by Anger’ Leading Up to UFC 298

henry cejudo
Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

As Henry Cejudo nears his three round main card fight against Merab Dvalishvili, “Triple C” feels driven by an emotion largely absent from his 11-year fight career: anger.

Speaking to the media ahead of UFC 298, Henry Cejudo revealed that the pressure he has placed on himself has sparked a different kind of motivation.

“It’s all or nothing. I told the team – I sat with my team…it’s either gold or bust. I either win it or I’m not going to have it at all. I am putting that timeline, that pressure on me. Because I do take this sport seriously,” Cejudo said. “It’s a motivation – more kind of motivated by a little bit of anger. I’m kind of pissed at myself a little bit. But it’s still motivated,” he continued.

With retirement on the table with a loss on Saturday night, Henry Cejudo admitted to feeling “big time pressure” leading up to his contest with Dvalishvili. 

“I know I’ve got to fight…you’ve got to put these clauses on you. I’m not going to continue to fight just to fight…I’m too competitive. I want to be the best in the world…If I can’t have that, keep it all.”

Also Read: UFC tonight: UFC 298 fight card, betting odds & watch times

Henry Cejudo: Merab Dvalishvili’s Wrestling is ‘Just Cardio’

Despite his desire to score a knockout victory on Saturday, the 2008 Freestyle Wrestling Olympic gold medalist acknowledges the likelihood of a 15-minute affair filled with extended grappling exchanges. “He’s going to come. He’s going to pressure. He’s going to shoot…you won’t be able to change Merab,” he said.

Although Dvalishvili holds the record for most takedowns in the division, Cejudo sees the output as more weaponized cardio than effective wrestling if “you can’t hurt somebody up top” after putting them on the canvas.

Cejudo, whose three-year retirement ended last May with a split decision loss to then bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, believes that his bout with Dvashvilli represents the absolute best in the bantamweight division. “Between me and Merab, this is the best fight at 135 pounds. This is the real world title,” Cejudo said.

Henry Cejudo and Merab Dvalishvili are scheduled for the main card of UFC 298. The event takes place this Saturday, February 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Also Read: UFC predictions for UFC 298, including big wins for Ilia Topuria and Henry Cejudo

Ant Walker is a native of the Washington DC area that now lives in Los Angeles. He has been... More about Anthony Walker

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