Henry Cejudo vs Aljamain Sterling: ‘Triple C’ urges Dana White to have Merab Dvalishvili as backup at UFC 288 if ‘Funk Master’ withdraws from their fight

Henry Cejudo can not seem to wait any longer to return to the octagon. Although he is set to make his return in a championship match against the current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, ‘Triple C’ feels that his opponent may pull out in the eleventh hour. With that Suspicion in mind, Cejudo has urged Dana White to consider Merab Dvalishvili as the substitute.

Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo celebrated his TKO victory over Marlon Moraes after clinching double championship

Dvalishvili recently brutalized Petr Yan at UFC Las Vegas 71 main event. “The machine” impressed Cejudo with his relentless takedown attempts, and ever-adapting skills. Henry wants to cement his position as one of the greats by fighting someone like Dvalishvili.

Henry Cejudo fears that Aljamain Sterling will withdraw at the last moment

Henry “The messenger” Cejudo has set his sights on the bantamweight title. The former double champion wants to cinch that belt around his waist on his comeback. However, he fears that Sterling is not strong enough to eventually keep his word. Now, this might be a tactic from Cejudo to enrage the ‘Funkmaster’.

Having said that, Cejudo has seriously asked Dana White to consider other names. Previously, he told Sean O’Malley to “stay ready.” And now he wants Merab Dvalishvili in line,

“Dear Dana White, I’m over here watching the number two number (and) three contender and I tell you what, I got a feeling that Al Jizzling is more likely to kind of back out of this fight. So, that being said, why don’t you give me Merab? Since Sean O’Malley wants to wait, he wants to take his time, why don’t we make Merab the backup at UFC 288? Why don’t we do it that way? because I have a feeling that Sterling will eventually back out.”

Now, it is still not quite clear why Cejudo predicts that Sterling will withdraw from the fight at the eleventh hour. It is quite possible that he wants a mental upper hand over Sterling. This has become a commonplace tactic among fighters. However, ‘Triple C’ does want to fight one of the best in the business right now.

He has dropped two names with whom very few fighters would want to fight on their return. This speaks volumes about Cejudo’s confidence.

Why does Henry Cejudo want Merab Dvalishvili as the backup option?

On the other hand, he has explained why he wants to fight Dvalishvili. He feels that “The machine” has a similar style to Aljo. Throwing a heavy strike and immediately reaching for the legs to take the opponent down – is how Henry described them.

“Triple C” feels confident about fighters who focus on their wrestling and grappling rather than mixing things up, “It’s going to be the same game plan for both of these chomps: wrestle, strike every time they throw something heavy, they go in there for takedowns.”

Cejudo has not fought since his victory over Dominick Cruz back in May 2020. He is now set to take on Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288, in New Jersey, on May 6, 2023.


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