Ever since Henry Cejudo controversially defeated Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title at UFC 227 a couple of months back, and TJ Dillashaw retained his UFC bantamweight championship on that same night, the direction now seems to be headed towards a super fight between the two in which both men have strongly expressed interest in recently.
If that does turn out to be the case, then that leaves one of the few next possible contenders left at bantamweight with sort of a bitter taste in his mouth, the red hot Marlon Moraes.
Well, the main reason being, Moraes believes he should be in line to receive a shot at the 135 pound gold.
What gives him that right to make that claim? Easy, just knockout fellow bantamweight contender Jimmie Rivera in 33 seconds like he did.
But even with him doing that, it’s been four months and yet Marlon Moraes is still trying figure out what his future in the UFC is.
In Moraes’ mind, should Dillashaw choose to proceed in doing the super fight with Cejudo for his 135 pound championship, it’ll be because Dillashaw does not want to fight the best competition.
“I feel like [Dillashaw] doesn’t want to test himself,” Moraes told MMA Fighting. “He wants to fight the fights that he can win. I think stylistically if he fights Cejudo, it’s an easier matchup for him. That’s a no-risk fight. What’s Cejudo gonna do to him? Cejudo is gonna take him down, but he’s gonna get up. He’s a way better striker than Cejudo. I see him with the edge. I don’t think it makes sense.”
With his only loss in the UFC coming from another top UFC bantamweight contender Raphael Assuncao, he says playing the waiting has not been very fun for him.
“I picked this career, because it’s not a team sport,” Moraes said. “Sometimes team sports, you have to wait. Wait for what the guy is gonna do. I don’t like to wait. I like to do. I like to make things happen. If they want me to take another soul out, I’m just gonna go out there and finish somebody else. If it’s not my time, I’m gonna keep doing that. I know I can fight for the title, I know I can be a champion. This is what champions do. They go out there and they beat whoever they put in front of them. I’m ready. I want to get a call and I want to get a fight.”
Maroes also stated, if the UFC wants to make the Cejudo-Dillashaw fight, he’ll be more than willing to face former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.
In the latest contender rankings of the UFC bantamweights, it lists Moraes at number 4, Assuncao at 3, Cruz at 2, while surprisingly Cody Garbrandt retains the number 1 spot although he has now been beaten twice by the champion TJ Dillashaw.
“I respect the superfights, but when the superfight makes sense,” Moraes said. “I don’t think that’s the case. We’ve got plenty of contenders in my division. I see a lot of guys fighting for the title and I don’t get guys picking opponents. I just felt the UFC was running everything. This way it feels like the fighters are calling the shots.”
For what it’s worth, Moraes believes that Demetrious Johnson at least deserves his rematch against Henry Cejudo, especially since how Cejudo only won that fight via split decision and didn’t actually finish Mighty Mouse.
“I think automatically Demetrious should get it any time he wants,” Moraes said. “That was the GOAT of the division and the UFC. Give that guy some respect. He deserves that shot. That’s no way to talk about the GOAT of all the divisions when you still didn’t fight that guy again.”
In a perfect world, Moraes would see himself facing Dillashaw next for the bantamweight title, defeat him, then challenge Cejudo for his flyweight belt.
That said, if TJ Dillashaw is indeed planning on becoming a double champion in the UFC by moving down to fight Cejudo, then Moraes insists on facing him instead, as Moraes sly-fully claimed that he’s still the WSOF champion.
“If Dillashaw wants to have two belts, fight me,” Moraes said. “I’m still champion. I still carry the championship belt. I’m still the World Series of Fighting champion. He wants big fights, he wants to fight champions? I’m a big fight, too.
“I’m a risky fight. He knows. If I don’t take this now, I’m gonna keep coming and one day I’m gonna get this.”