Chael Sonnen believes the Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley faceoff at UFC 288 changed Henry Cejudo’s mind on retirement.
Cejudo’s bid for a UFC title in his comeback fight fell short at UFC 288. He went all five rounds with UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling last weekend, losing via split decision.
After Sterling defeated Cejudo, he quickly turn his attention towards his likely next opponent O’Malley, who sat cageside in Newark. The two had a heated post-fight faceoff and they’ll likely fight later this year.
During the faceoff, Cejudo was seen with his gloves taken off and many believed he was ready to retire for good. Minutes later, Cejudo got the chance to have his post-fight Octagon interview with Joe Rogan and seemed unsure of his future.
Chael Sonnen Shares Theory For Henry Cejudo’s Retirement Pivot
During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Sonnen presented a possible reason for Cejudo’s sudden change of mind regarding another retirement.
“He was gonna retire,” Sonnen began. “He took the gloves off, in that moment, he was retired. They took too long to get to him. In between him deciding he was gonna retire and finally getting it in, imagine being Henry…you’re in the ring, your heart is broken, gloves in hand, you’re gonna throw them down and walk away the right way…you’re sitting there and looking ‘I want this. I want all of this and I want all of them’. He changed his mind…
“When he had those gloves off, if they were to come to him sooner like they should have, he would’ve been retired by right now. They came to him too late and he changed his mind.”
Cejudo has called out Sterling’s teammate, Merab Dvalishvili, in recent days. He seems sincere in his sudden desire to fight again just days after taking off the gloves.
Before the loss to Sterling, Cejudo retired at UFC 249 after earning a dominant finish over Dominick Cruz. He earned the vacant bantamweight title in a fight earlier against Marlon Moraes.
Cejudo might not be ready to hang up the gloves, and Sonnen feels a split-second decision to have Sterling and O’Malley face off might’ve led him towards a return.
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