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Henry Cejudo Threatens Retirement with UFC 298 Loss

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Henry Cejudo Threatens Retirement with UFC 298 Loss

(CTN News) – The career of one of the most accomplished athletes in UFC 298 history may end. Again.

Henry Cejudo, former UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion, announced on Wednesday that he would retire if he lost Saturday at UFC 298. Cejudo will battle Merab Dvalishvili, a fellow bantamweight contender, on the main card at Honda Centre in Anaheim.

“This is all or nothing,” Cejudo stated. “It’s gold or bust. I either win it all, or I’m out and done. So, I’m placing that timeframe on myself because I take this sport seriously…what am I trying to prove?

It is a source of inspiration for a small amount of rage. Being angry with oneself is motivating; if I lose, I’ll resign completely. I’m not going to keep fighting merely to fight. “I am too competitive; I want to be the best in the world.”

Henry Cejudo, 37, has already stepped away from the sport. Cejudo unexpectedly announced his retirement in a postfight interview after retaining the bantamweight title with a win over Dominic Cruz in May 2020. After three years, the former Olympic wrestling gold winner returned in May, losing the title to Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288.

If Cejudo defeats Dvalishvili, he will be among the top contenders for the UFC bantamweight title. Dvalishvili is ranked third on ESPN, while Cejudo is ranked fourth in the world in the 135-pound weight class.

Henry Cejudo altered his training camp to prepare for such a big fight, including a public, on-camera sacking of veteran instructor Eric Albarracin, who had been with him since the Olympics.


A “UFC Countdown” film team captured their conversation and aired it on Sunday at the UFC 298 preview show.

Cejudo received a lot of flak from the MMA community for that scene. UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski told The Mac Life that if the video were authentic, Cejudo would be a “piece of s—.” Cejudo claimed he did not take the comments personally.

“You know how much s— I’ve talked, too,” Cejudo replied. “I don’t take any of that stuff [personally], because I could give it, but I could also take it.”

Albarracin told ESPN that the footage seemed worse than it was. He and Cejudo are close, so there were no bad feelings. Albarracin is in California this week for UFC 298 with middleweight contender Paulo Costa, who will battle Robert Whittaker.

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Cejudo and Albarracin reunited this week at the UFC hotel, and Albarracin confirmed that he will be in Cejudo’s corner on Saturday.

“You cannot have Michael Jordan without Phil Jackson,” Cejudo said. “Capt. Eric is close to me. He is like a brother. And, even though we didn’t travel to camp together, we’re still communicating over the phone, discussing the game plan and such.”

Cejudo’s training camp occurred at his longtime Fight Ready MMA facility in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, he did not enlist the trainers there, such as his former striking coach Eddie Cha, and instead worked with a different group, which included striking coach Everton Lopes, former wrestling Olympian Guillermo “Memo” Torres and wrestler Josh Kramer.

“A lot of people have a lot of good things, and I just wanted to just hammer down, like just get into the details,” Cejudo said. “Not having too many chefs in the kitchen and next fight it could change.”

If there is another fight, that is. Henry Cejudo did indicate that if he loses on Saturday, he will hang up his gloves. But will the retirement last this time?

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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