Henry Cejudo (15-2) defeated Marlon Moraes (22-6-1) via a third-round TKO to claim the vacant bantamweight championship at UFC 238 Saturday, June 9, from the United Center in Chicago.
Moraes picked apart Cejudo to open the first round, snapping lefts and rights before tearing him down with bruising leg kicks. Cejudo went on the attack to open the second round, clipping Moraes and sending him stumbling. Moraes continued to tear away at Cejudo legs, snapping kicks that popped off the inside of the flyweight champ’s lead leg. Midway through the second, Cejudo and Moraes picked up the pace, standing and exchanging in the middle of the Octagon.
Cejudo picked up where he left off in the third, immediately going after Moraes’s head with jab after jab. Cejudo took Moraes to the ground and nearly finished him with a submission, then ground-and-pounded him into the TKO finish.
Moraes entered the cage on a four-fight win streak, ending his last three-consecutive bouts in the first round.
Cejudo came into Saturday’s fight following the two biggest wins of his MMA career, defeating the legendary Demetrious Johnson before defending his flyweight title with a stunning knockout of TJ Dillashaw. He now has a 2008 Olympic gold medal in freestyle wrestling, the UFC flyweight crown and the UFC bantamweight title as only the fourth two-division champion in UFC history, joining Daniel Cormier, Amanda Nunes, and Conor McGregor.