Marlon Moraes, UFC 238, Bob Meloni

Marlon Moraes wants to see more bantamweight championship opportunities

The UFC bantamweight division is loaded with top contenders.

With several fighters making a case for why they deserve a title shot, the divisions top ranked contender has a solution for everyone to get a crack at UFC gold.

Marlon Moraes, who lost his championship fight to Henry Cejudo last June, believes the title being put on the line more times will keep the division moving fluently.

Cejudo hasn’t defended his belt since becoming a double champ. Since Cejudo’s huge win over Moraes, he underwent shoulder surgery and vacated the flyweight title. Now, nearly one year later, Cejudo will make his first bantamweight title defense against Dominick Cruz on May 9 at UFC 249.

Moraes isn’t complaining about where he stands in the division, he just wants to see the championship being fought for more often.

“Sterling is there; Sandhagen is there, too,” Moraes told MMA Junkie.

“[Jose] Aldo is in the division. Frankie [Edgar] is coming to 135. I see all the tough guys in the division. Pedro Munhoz is a tough guy, too. There’s so many good guys. I see eight tough fights in the 135-pound division. We’ve just got to get the ball going. We’ve got to get the title on the line more times.”

Originally, Aldo, who lost a close fight to Marlon Moraes, was going to fight Cejudo at UFC 249, but he couldn’t fight due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Moraes defeated Ado, he didn’t have a problem with Aldo getting a title shot. He’s also cool with Cruz fighting for the championship despite not fighting since 2016.

“To be honest with you, it bothered me less than seeing Aldo get a title shot because Dominick Cruz has a story in the division,” Moraes said. “Dominick Cruz won the belt, and he had so many problems with injuries. I’m a big fan of Dominick Cruz, too. I see him. I see the passion he has for the sport, and he just can’t get going. He just can’t stay healthy. He keeps getting hurt, and when you hear something like that, you can’t get mad, you know? I’m not mad at all, man.

“The guy deserves to fight. He’s one of the best ever to step into that octagon in the 135-pound division, and I heard Petr Yan couldn’t get a visa to fight. He was one of the options, too, so why not? Why not give it to Dominick Cruz? He’s such a big name. I think it’s good for the division to have him back, and hopefully he can stay healthy, but if he can’t stay healthy, man, give this guy one more opportunity. Let’s see what he can do.”

While Cejudo and Cruz take care of business, Moraes will be training for a fight of his own. Moraes will fight Petr Yan on June 13 in a battle of top bantamweight contenders.

Moraes doesn’t know if the fight will take place on “Fight Island,” but he does see the fight happening in June.

“I’m fighting a tough guy, a good opponent, but I know how tough I am, how good I am,” Moraes said. “Let’s clash. Let’s show. He deserves it and I deserve it. Let’s see who’s going to get it.”

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