Both UFC bantamweight champion Sterling and his teammate Dvalishvili have used their grappling to dominate opponents, but Cejudo sees them as easier stylistic matchups for him.
Cejudo (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC), an Olympic gold medalist wrestler, has rounded out his game nicely in his recent octagon outings, using his hands to take out T.J. Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes and Dominick Cruz in championship fights.
“I’m Merab times 10,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “My wrestling pedigree is so much better than him. Even a guy like Merab, he’s a danger to everybody else, but me. A guy like Merab would be the easiest fight for me, and I mean that, and I’ve told him that actually in Vegas. I said, ‘Hey, man, I think if I was you, I’d stay away from a guy like me.’ I’m a better athlete, I’ve got better hands, I can submit, I can do a lot of things, and my wrestling is just that much better.
“When you go up against a guy that knows how to wrestle, and has been doing that since he was a kid, like myself, and doing it at the highest levels, you’re in trouble – the same reason why Aljamain Sterling doesn’t want to fight me.”
Cejudo is projected to be next in line for bantamweight champ Sterling, but their fight has yet to materialize. Cejudo says he’s ready to go, but that the holdup is on Sterling’s side.
“I’m prepared. I’m ready. The UFC wants it. Dana White wants it,” Cejudo said. “It’s signed on my portion. We’re just waiting for Aljamain Sterling and we’re waiting for the UFC to really pop off the date, and for me to be crowned ‘and new.’ Sean O’Malley, stay hot. Stay hot, man. You just wait for daddy to come back, and you’re next.”