Merab Dvalishvili thinks Henry Cejudo is 'dangerous', compares him to Jose Aldo (Video)

  • Merab Dvalishvili thinks Henry Cejudo is a dangerous opponent
  • He knows that Cejudo will retire with a loss
  • He thinks the fight is similar to his fight with Jose Aldo
Merab Dvalishvili
Merab Dvalishvili / UFC

Merab Dvalishvili is ready for a title fight after UFC 298.

Dvalishvili, who will face Henry Cejudo on Feb. 17, has been the essential No. 1 contender in the UFC bantamweight division for almost two full years despite stating he would not fight his friend Aljamain Sterling for the belt. Now, with Sterling out of the picture, Dvalishvili confirmed his interest in fighting the winner of the UFC 299 main event later in the year should he get past Cejudo.

With much of the talk during fight week surrounding the potential retirement of Cejudo, Dvalishvili responded, saying he believed the former champion is even more dangerous and not vulnerable.

"I think he's talking from the facts," Dvalishvili said during the UFC 298 media day on Wednesday. "It's either everything or nothing for him. That's his mentality, that's why he's dangerous because I know he will try everything to win this fight. I'm sure he's hungry and I know how much he wants it because that's how much I want it too."

Dvalishvili acknowledged his understanding of Cejudo's desire to retire after an accomplished career and being a 37-year-old father.

Merab Dvalishvili says his fight with Henry Cejudo reminds him of his fight with Jose Aldo

Upon his breakdown of Cejudo, Dvalishvili compared the matchup to his UFC 278 win over Jose Aldo, who retired shortly after the fight. Aldo entered the contest as another former champion ranked as the no. 3 bantamweight contender, the same spot that Cejudo currently occupies.

"[This fight with Cejudo] is the same thing as when I fought Jose Aldo," Dvalishvili said. "He was coming off a three-fight win streak when he beat Chito Vera and all of the other contenders and if he beat me he was supposed to fight for the title. Then I beat him and he didn't want to go back down the ladder and come back up again so it's going to be the same thing with Henry."

While Cejudo hinted at a potential retirement in the event of a loss at UFC 298, the former two-division champion confirmed in his media day interviews that his next loss would be his last fight. Cejudo also restated his desire to pursue the featherweight championship should he defeat Dvalishvili and reclaim the bantamweight belt.


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