Why Henry Cejudo May Have to Retire if He Loses to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 298

Why Henry Cejudo May Have to Retire if He Loses to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 298

Why Henry Cejudo May Have to Retire if He Loses to Merab ...

Photo by Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Henry Cejudo, the former UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion, faces the prospect of retirement should he lose to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 298. This decision stems from Cejudo's unwavering pursuit of adding a third division title to his already illustrious career. The high stakes of this upcoming fight and Cejudo's determination to achieve monumental achievements are driving him to set such an ultimatum for himself.

Pursuit of a Third Division Title

Cejudo's goal remains fixed on the 145-pound weight class, despite having already conquered and defended his 135-pound weight. His intention to compete in the 145-pound division and his belief that he has earned a shot at the title are significant factors contributing to the pressure he faces in his upcoming fight against Dvalishvili.

All or Nothing Mentality

Cejudo's mindset leading up to the fight is characterized by an "all or nothing" approach. He has set a clear ultimatum for himself, stating, "It's either gold or bust. I either win it all, or I'm out". This unwavering determination underscores the immense pressure he has placed on himself, reflecting his serious and competitive nature as an athlete.

Legacy and Retirement

Cejudo's pursuit of monumental achievements that will define his legacy as the greatest combat sports athlete in history plays a pivotal role in his decision-making process. At this stage in his career, he is focused on pursuing only those opportunities that will contribute to his legacy, adding another layer of significance to the outcome of the fight.

Previous Retirement and Comeback

Cejudo had previously retired in May 2020 after defeating Dominick Cruz to retain the bantamweight title. However, he returned after three years, albeit falling short in his attempt to reclaim the 135-pound title by split decision to then-champ Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288. This history of retirement and comeback suggests that Cejudo is not afraid to make bold decisions regarding his career.

Training Camp Changes and Preparation

Leading up to the fight, Cejudo made significant changes to his training camp, including a public dismissal of his longtime coach and shaking up his coaching staff. This demonstrates his commitment to leaving no stone unturned in his pursuit of victory and further solidifies the high stakes associated with the fight.

Pressure and Motivation

Cejudo's statements reflect a blend of motivation and pressure. He acknowledges feeling motivated by a little bit of anger and a desire to prove himself, emphasizing that he is taking the sport seriously and is driven by a competitive spirit.

Recognition and Criticism

Cejudo's high-profile status in the MMA world has garnered recognition and criticism. His decision to retire if he loses the fight has sparked discussions and opinions within the MMA community. This further highlights the significance of the outcome and the impact it would have on Cejudo's career.

Henry Cejudo's potential retirement if he loses to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 298 is driven by his unwavering pursuit of a third division title, his "all or nothing" mentality, and his commitment to defining his legacy as one of the greatest combat sports athletes in history. The stakes are high, and the outcome of this fight has the potential to significantly impact Cejudo's career and legacy.


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