UFC 238: Cejudo vs. Moraes – Preview
Mixed Martial Arts is forever unpredictable, and the pecking order can change in an instant. A man who’s brought this to the forefront of people’s minds, more than anybody else in recent times, is Henry Cejudo.
Demetrious Johnson and TJ Dillashaw had sat upon the flyweight and bantamweight thrones respectively, and it seemed likely that these men would remain unrivaled for some time to come, unless one or the other changed divisions to fight the each other — but Cejudo had different ideas.
Despite losing his first encounter to Johnson via first round stoppage, Cejudo was still confident that he could topple the long reigning champion. In a terrific five round war, Cejudo’s Olympic calibre wrestling was enough to win via decision in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history to date.
The next challenge for the Olympian would come against Dillashaw, who had set his sights on becoming a member of the selective group of “Champ Champs.”
Dillashaw was coming off back to back wins over Cody Garbrandt, and looked to be in the greatest form of his career, so Cejudo once again found himself as the underdog. And in another shock, Cejudo not only beat Dillashaw, he walked through him en route to an early first-round stoppage.
A rematch was instantly discussed with the idea that this time Cejudo would move up to Dillahsaw’s weight in his own attempt to become a double champion, but unfortunately, a cruel reality of the sport reared its ugly head. Dillashaw tested positive for the performance enhancing drug “EPO,” and was forced to relinquish his world title.
Cejudo will still get his opportunity to become a two-weight world champion but he will meet in the Octagon, a man who may be the hardest challenge of his career.
Marlon Moraes is an extremely dangerous man, both a Jiu-Jitsu and a Muay Thai black belt, the Brazilian has done everything in the bantamweight division except win the belt.
After a split decision loss to Raphael Assunção, Moraes has been close to unbeatable ever since. He defeated John Dodson via decision, and then went on to knock out top contenders in Aljamain Sterling and Jimmy Riviera, announcing himself as a danger to any bantamweight walking planet Earth.
In a rematch against Assuncao, he emerged victorious, submitting his countryman with a guillotine. There was simply no more denying him, and Moraes was finally granted his world title shot.
In a clash which fans are highly anticipating, at UFC 238, two of the most under-appreciated fighters battle it out for the vacant bantamweight world title.
Cejudo will look to prove the doubters wrong once again to pick up his second world title, and Moraes looks to finally cement himself as a world champion. In an interesting striker vs wrestler matchup, in which the striker also has an excellent ground game, the fight will be captivating wherever it ends up, and all martial arts fanatics will be enthralled to see how this one plays out.