Henry Cejudo likely to retire with a loss against Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 298: ‘It’s all or nothing, man’

Henry Cejudo

It’s all or nothing for Henry Cejudo at UFC 298.

Nine months after failing to reclaim the bantamweight title in his return to the Octagon, ‘Triple C’ will look to score himself another shot at UFC gold on February 17. But to do so, he has to go through one of the most feared fighters at 135, Merab Dvalishvili.

With a win, Cejudo sees his next fight being against the winner of UFC 299’s showdown between bantamweight titleholder Sean O’Malley and Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera. But a loss against ‘The Machine’ will likely send the Olympic gold medalist into retirement for the second and final time.

“This is for the No. 1 contender spot,” Cejudo told The HJR Experiment. “I think to have to lose it to Aljamain … I think if I was going to go maybe down the ladder, I would probably be done with fighting again because it’s just like the sport is hard, man. Training camps, having two kids, and things like that. … It’s all or nothing, man.”

Henry Cejudo Says Fighting Is Not Always About The Love of the Sport

Cejudo currently occupies the No. 3 spot in the bantamweight rankings, one behind Dvalishivili and two under former division champ Aljamain Sterling. With the ‘Funk Master’ making the move to featherweight later this year, he’s expected to relinquish his spot at the top.

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‘Triple C’ returned at UFC 288 last year, challenging Sterling for the 135-pound crown. Cejudo came up short, losing on two of the three judges’ scorecards.

“It’s more of a motivation of vengeance,” Cejudo continued. “It’s not always the love. Even coming back to the sport, I was like, ‘I want to test myself.’ I like the matchup. It has been three years, but it was also the financial compensation. I mean, there’s nothing easier to make money than the fight game” (h/t MMA Mania).