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Henry Cejudo has been successful in every facet of combat sports he has tried — but if he doesn’t get his hand raised at February’s UFC 298 card, he says it is probably time to hang up the gloves for good. 

Cejudo, the former UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion, was defeated in his last outing against Aljamain Sterling, in what was his first bout in three years after vacating the promotion’s 125 and 135-pound titles in 2020. He returns to action on February 17 against Sterling close friend and training partner Merab Dvalishvili and has said that if things don’t go his way in that fight in Anaheim, California, it is probably time to step away from the sport for good.

“This is for the No. 1 contender spot,” Cejudo said to the The HJR Experiment podcast, via MMA Junkie.

“I think to have to lose it to Aljamain, I think if I was going to go maybe down the ladder, I would probably be done with fighting again because it’s just like the sport is hard, man. Training camps, having two kids, and things like that. … It’s all or nothing, man.”

“It’s more of a motivation of vengeance,” Cejudo said of his desire to compete. “It’s not always the love. Even coming back to the sport, I was like, ‘I want to test myself.’ I like the [Sterling] matchup. It has been three years, but it was also the financial compensation. I mean, there’s nothing easier to make money than the fight game.”

Cejudo will have his hands full against the #2 ranked bantamweight Dvalishvili. The 33-year-old Georgian has won nine straight fights at 135-pounds, including recent impressive wins over Petr Yan, Jose Aldo and Marlon Moraes, and one more win will likely align him for a title shot against Sterling’s conqueror for the belt, Sean O’Malley.

We find out for sure at the UFC 298 card on February 17.