Henry Cejudo claims bantamweight title with third-round TKO over Marlon Moraes
Henry Cejudo officially has more gold than anyone in UFC history.
The 2008 Olympic gold medalist and reigning UFC flyweight champion added the bantamweight title to his collection with a stunning third round TKO to finish Marlon Moraees in the UFC 238 main event. Cejudo survived an early onslaught to come back and absolutely punish Moraes before stopping the Brazilian contender by TKO with the end coming at 4:51 into the third round.
Cejudo now joins Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Amanda Nunes as the only fighters in UFC history to hold two divisional titles simultaneously. Of course, Cejudo is the only Olympic gold medalist in the group and he was more than happy to remind the world of that fact while celebrating his victory.
“No, I’m not champ-champ, ladies and gentlemen,” Cejudo said with a world title on each shoulder. “My name is Triple-C — Olympic champion, flyweight champion of the world and now bantamweight champion of the world. I am the greatest combat athlete of all time and I just stole the title for the best pound-for-pound fighter, too.”
The championship victory for Cejudo didn’t come easy because he had to endure a tough opening round as Moraes was immediately gunning for the knockout as soon as the fight got started.
Moraes looked calm, cool and collected as he started unleashing his entire striking arsenal in an attempt to dismantle Cejudo from head to toe. Moraes began punishing Cejudo’s legs with a series of kicks and then coming back up top with blistering combinations that connected with both speed and power.
Despite a tough start, Cejudo made an adjustment and came out in the second round looking to close the distance with his striking combinations as he began tagging Moraes with more regularity. Moraes fired back with several stinging kicks to the legs but Cejudo just started walking forward with his punches while showing off incredible endurance.
Cejudo’s offensive output really paid off late in the round when he got inside, grabbed Moraes’ head and started blasting away with knees. It appeared Moraes was stunned but he kept winging punches until he clipped Cejudo with a punch just seconds before the horn sounded that nearly buckled the Olympian’s knees.
Despite a good end to the round, Moraes was exhausted and it only got worse as the third round got underway because Cejudo really started to ratchet up the pressure. The pace that Cejudo kept was more than Moraes could handle as he simply had no answer for the offensive barrage that just kept coming from the flyweight champion.
Cejudo eventually secured a D’arce choke that looked like it might get the finish but Moraes slipped free before turning to his back on the ground.
He never got up again.
Cejudo started pouring on the punches and elbows and as the shots landed in succession with no signs that Moraes was going to escape, he stepped into stop the fight. Following the end of the bout, Cejudo revealed that he actually stepped into the octagon with an injured ankle but refused to give up his opportunity to win the second world title.
“I was fighting adversity. As you guys heard at media day they had asked me, I had sprained my left ankle and I couldn’t do much but I still wanted to fight,” Cejudo said.
“That was all desire. I knew Marlon was throwing a lot of power and eventually when you throw that much power, you’re going to get burned.”
With two world titles and an Olympic medal around his neck, Cejudo said he wasn’t done collecting gold as he plans to add more in the future after calling out several potential opponents at bantamweight.
“Dominick Cruz, Cody Garbrandt, Urijah Faber, at 145 pounds, I would like to eventually go up to another weight class and solidify another belt, too,” Cejudo shouted while calling out what he hopes to do next in his career.
Cejudo’s victory undoubtedly cements his place in history and it definitely seems like he’s far from finished with a lot more he wants to accomplish in his career beyond the two belts he’s already holding.