Henry Cejudo appears far from retirement with Merab Dvalishvili callout.
It was not the comeback he had envisioned whatsoever. Former UFC double champion and Olympic gold medallist Henry Cejudo saw himself walking out of UFC 288 with the bantamweight title he had vacated three years ago when he retired, however, that is far from what went down.
Aljamain Sterling would pick up a close but fair split-decision victory to retain as Cejudo took his gloves off and almost appeared to retire. In fact, he was anything but clear about his future in MMA during his post-fight interview.
Thankfully, it didn't take long for Cejudo to be back on social media calling out his next opponent. This time, it is non-other than the No. 1 ranked bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili, who also happens to be very good friends with Sterling.
What does this mean for Henry Cejudo?
It was clear that Cejudo's path to become the consensus MMA G.O.A.T was to take out Sterling, defeat Sean O'Malley, go up to 145 pounds and challenge the champion, and ride off into the sunset as the UFC's first ever triple division champion.
Well, part A of that plan has already failed. However, even in defeat, Cejudo still adds a lot of intrigue in the bantamweight division. He is clearly still one of the best 135ers in the world given how he pushed Sterling and a fight with Dvalishvili makes total sense.
Only two men have defeated Dvalishvili inside the Octagon and he hasn't tasted defeat in over five years. If it wasn't that his best bud Sterling was the champion, it is hard to envision a world where Dvalishvili isn't the bantamweight title holder.
A win over him for Cejudo puts him right back on track on his quest. Considering that UFC President Dana White wants Sterling vs. O'Malley in Boston during the August pay-per-view card, it is not surprising to see Cejudo put #UFCBoston on his Twitter callout.
A pay-per-view where Sterling defends his belt for potentially the last time against the superstar that is O'Malley with Dvalishvili and Cejudo battling it out for a title shot in the co-main? There are few better options out there for the UFC's return to Boston.