"Olympic champion, flyweight champion of the world and now bantamweight champion of the world."
Marlon Moraes and Henry Cejudo met at the crossroads for the main event at UFC 238 last night. The Brazilian challenger held the distinction of number one contender status in the bantamweight division. Since T.J Dillashaw had to vacate the bantam belt due to a doping scandal, the division was seemingly his for the taking - which is evidently why Moraes treated Cejudo like an unwanted guest in his house.
Cejudio's aspirations towards multi-division excellence were encouraged by UFC boss Dana White, much to the chagrin of Moraes, who watched as the former Olympian was granted what he felt was an undeserved "bye" up the bantamweight ranks. For Moraes, the feeling was akin to a stranger stealing food right from the grasps of a beggar in need.
Unfortunately for Marlon Moraes, he was not up to the task last night. After a dominant display in the first round, Moraes would succumb to Cejudo's mode of attrition. By the 3rd round, a battered Moraes was brought to the ground where a flurry of overhead strikes awaited him. Referee Marc Goddard would inevitably put an end to the contest once it had become apparent that Moraes could no longer defend himself.
"I'm not champ-champ," Cejudo exclaimed in a post-fight monologue. "My name is Triple C -- Olympic champion, flyweight champion of the world and now bantamweight champion of the world. I'm the greatest combat athlete of all time and I just stole the title of best pound-for-pound fighter too."
In the aftermath of his devastating loss, Moraes had very little to say beyond an expression of gratitude towards his fans and supporters. "Thanks for everyone’s support," he wrote on Instagram. "The fight continues."