UFC 298 just got some major heat added to it. Earlier today, former two-division champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Henry Cejudo (16-3) announced on his YouTube page that he would be returning in February at UFC 298 against surging top contender Merab Dvalishvili (16-4).
UFC 298 goes down on February 17th and this is being looked at as a title eliminator at 135 with the bantamweight title being on the line a few weeks after this fight. Starting with Dvalishvili, he’s finally only a win away from realizing his dream of challenging for a world title.
Dvalishvili is close friends with former champion Aljamain Sterling and he was adamant that he would never challenge Aljo while Sterling was champion. However, with Sterling losing the title to Sean O’Malley and now it appears The Funk Master is moving to 145, Dvalishvili is only a win away from getting to challenge for the belt.
After losing his first two fights in the UFC, Dvalishvili has won nine-straight. His last two wins came against former champions Jose Aldo and Petr Yan. That said, his toughest test to-date will be in front of him on February 17th.
Back in 2020 after defeating Dominick Cruz, Henry Cejudo announced his retirement from the UFC. However, after a few years away, he started to get that competitive itch again. Finally, he jumped back in the USADA testing pool and was booked against Aljamain Sterling back in May.
The fight was razor close and personally, I had Cejudo winning the fight 3-2. However, two judges gave the decision win to Sterling and Cejudo lost for the first time since 2016. At first, Cejudo didn’t know what he was going to do in terms of his fighting future. However, it didn’t take him long to say that he wants to keep going.
He was supposed to face Chito Vera back in August, but he suffered an injury and had to pull out of the fight. It might’ve been a blessing in disguise because now Cejudo is getting to fight the guy he originally wanted to fight in August. Cejudo wanted to fight Dvalishvili, but Dvalishvili had an injury he was dealing with. Now, both guys are healthy and they’ll battle for a title shot at UFC 298.