UFC Has Got Another ‘Champ-Champ!’
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight champion, Henry Cejudo, tonight (Sat., June 8, 2019) attempted to become the third-ever “champ-champ” in company history, locking horns with No. 1-ranked Bantamweight contender, Marlon Moraes, for the vacant 135-pound title in UFC 238’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event inside United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Cejudo — who packed on 10 pounds for this title fight — was visibly the much smaller fighter; however, it didn’t matter as he battled through a tough first round to score a sensational third round technical knockout victory.
Moraes kicked things off with hard low kick and then a dynamic high kick that Cejudo was able to block. Cejudo waded in with a lazy kick of his own and Moraes responded with a ridiculously fast and power flurry of punches. Moraes continued to land the low kick, which seemed to really make Cejudo uncomfortable. Cejudo dove in for a single-leg takedown, but Moraes was able to push him off and step out of danger. Moraes continued his assault on Cejudo’s legs until the round, mercifully, came to an end for the Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler.
Cejudo had his corner ice up his leg between rounds — he was clearly bothered. And Moraes continued to do lower body damage to start the second stanza. Cejudo landed a nice punch that knocked Moraes off balance, but he recovered quick and went right back to kicking Cejudo relentlessly. Cejudo apparently finally had enough and began to just unload on his punches, pressuring Moraes and instigating a brawl. Cejudo grabbed him by the back of the neck and just unloaded on Moraes with knees from the clinch. The last 90 seconds of the second round were absolutely bananas — not sure how Moraes was able to remain upright. In fact, he was able to clip Cejudo at the bell and it appeared to really hurt “The Messenger.”
Cejudo kept the pressure dialed up for the third round, which Moraes did not appear to enjoy. Moraes once again got trapped in a clinch, unable or unwilling to stop Cejudo from kneeing him in the face incessantly. Cejudo was able to trap Moraes in a standing guillotine then dropped to floor, getting him in an alligator roll that appeared to be the end of the fight. Moraes was able to escape, but ended up underneath Cejudo, was started bouncing heavy elbows off the Brazilian’s forehead. Moraes, who must have been totally fatigued, attempted to scramble out of danger, but he had nothing left. Cejudo started to drop serious hammerfists with about 20 seconds remaining in the round and Moraes had no answers. The referee had no choice but intervene and rescue Moraes from additional and unnecessary punishment.
Wow ... what a performance from Cejudo. It appeared that Moraes was going to coast to a dominant win, but “The Messenger” flipped the switch midway through the second round and absolutely thumped one of the best in the business.
Welcome the the double champ club, Henry. Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier now have Olympic-caliber company.
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