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Henry Cejudo Contemplates Retirement in High-Stakes UFC 298 Clash with Merab Dvalishvili

Henry Cejudo Contemplates Retirement
Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Henry Cejudo

The stakes are sky-high for Henry Cejudo as he gears up for a pivotal matchup against the formidable Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 298 on Feb. 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. After falling short in his title fight against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288, Cejudo is faced with a crucial decision – retirement might be on the horizon if he doesn't secure the victory.

In a recent interview on “The HJR Experiment,” Cejudo laid it all on the line, stating, 

“This is for the No. 1 contender spot. 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.”

Cejudo, a former UFC dual-champion, had previously retired in May 2020 after successfully defending his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz. The allure of competition brought him back three years later, only to face a competitive defeat against then-champion Sterling in May.

The 36-year-old fighter acknowledges that financial compensation played a significant role in his decision to return. In his own words, 

"It’s more of a motivation of vengeance. It’s not always the love. Even coming back to the sport, I was like, ‘I want to test myself.’ I like the matchup (vs. Sterling). It has been three years, but it was also the financial compensation."

As Cejudo enters UFC 298, it's a high-stakes battle for the No. 1 contender spot, and retirement looms as a potential outcome. The fighter's motivation for victory includes both personal satisfaction and a desire to prove himself once again in the ever-challenging world of mixed martial arts.


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