Henry Cejudo doesn’t appear to be sold on his UFC Bantamweight Championship match against Aljamain Sterling actually taking place on May 6.
Cejudo is set to challenge Sterling for the top prize in the UFC’s male bantamweight division in the main event of UFC 288. The action will be held inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Cejudo took to his Twitter account to suggest to the UFC brass that Sterling’s teammate and close friend Merab Dvalishvili serve as a backup opponent in case Sterling pulls out of the fight (h/t MMAFighting).
Dear @danawhite I want @MerabDvalishvil as a back up. Let me show you what I can do. #andnew pic.twitter.com/PJPjRXfOee
— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) March 12, 2023
“Dear Dana White, I’m over here watching the No. 2 and 3 contenders and I’ve got a feeling that [Aljamain] is more likely to back out of this fight,” Cejudo said on Twitter. “So that being said, why don’t you give me Merab? Give me Merab since Sean O’Malley wants to wait. He wants to take his time.
“Why we don’t make Merab the backup at UFC 288. Why don’t we do it that way? That way it’s both of these training partners because I have a feeling Aljamain is going to eventually back out so I want to make sure.”
Dvalishvili is fresh off what most are calling the most impressive performance of his pro MMA career to date. He turned in a one-sided showing against Petr Yan to sweep the scorecards 50-45 for the unanimous decision victory.
While Dvalishvili has seemingly cemented himself as the next 135-pound challenger for the winner of Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo, there is a major holdup. Dvalishvili and Sterling have vowed to never face each other inside the Octagon. It’s a path that UFC President Dana White believes will ultimately harm Dvalishvili’s career.
Time will tell if UFC officials will take Cejudo’s suggestion into consideration. In the meantime, the fight world anticipates a title clash between the “Funk Master” and the man known as “Triple C.”
original source: Henry Cejudo suggests Merab Dvalishvili be on standby in case Aljamain Sterling backs out of UFC 288 title fight