Henry Cejudo appears to have made a decision on his fighting future.
The former two-division champion returned from a three-year layoff this past Saturday at UFC 288 and despite a strong effort in his comeback fight, Cejudo ended up on the wrong end of a split decision to reigning bantamweight titleholder Aljamain Sterling. Afterwards, the 36-year-old Cejudo was non-committal about whether he would compete again or return to retirement.
On Monday, Cejudo made a post on Instagram indicating that he is not retiring and is instead targeting a matchup with top bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili, a close friend and training partner of Sterling’s.
See the post below.
“This s*** is far from over,” Cejudo wrote. “[Dana White] I want [Dvalishvili’s] head on a plate.”
Cejudo tagged the post with the hashtag #UFCBoston, suggesting that the fight happen at a rumored card in Boston on Aug. 19. UFC commentator Jon Anik confirmed that the date and location are in the works during Saturday’s UFC 288 broadcast.
Should the matchup be made, a win would put Cejudo right back in the title conversation after he received an immediate shot at Sterling despite retiring in 2020. Cejudo held UFC gold at bantamweight and flyweight during his initial run with the promotion, defeating a litany of top names including Dominick Cruz, Demetrious Johnson, T.J. Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes, and Sergio Pettis.
Dvalishvili is currently on a nine-fight win streak, tied for the longest streak in the division with Sterling. Though he has knocked off several contenders to rise up the ranks, his career arc is complicated by the fact that he and Sterling have vowed to not fight each other.
He even had Sterling’s back this past Saturday when presumed No. 1 contender Sean O’Malley stepped into the octagon to face off with Sterling. Dvalishvili snuck up behind O’Malley and stole his jacket, nearly sparking a melee.
Update: Dvalishvili recently responded on Twitter.
Let’s Go! I will take another of @funkmasterMMA ‘s leftovers .. for now! https://t.co/I7jVSbcaxp— Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili (@MerabDvalishvil) May 8, 2023