Bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes had a great first five minutes in his title fight against the now ‘double champ’ Henry Cejudo at UFC 238, in Chicago, Illinois.
In the first round of the main event, ‘Magic’ managed to keep his opponent at a safe distance, and was picking Cejudo apart with precise striking—shutting down the Olympic wrestler’s chances of even going for the takedown. However, things drastically changed for the Brazilian in the following rounds. And ended up leading to a third round TKO win for the ‘Messenger’ after an exhausted Moraes could no longer defend himself intelligently.
In an interview with Portal do Vale Tudo, Moraes explained why he believes he lost the lead in the fight, chalking the defeat up to exhaustion and lack of movement.
“Unfortunately, I allowed the fight to escape my control. I started playing his game, I gassed and that was it. I was very well trained, unfortunately it wasn’t my day. I felt good in the first and second rounds, but he started to pressure me a little more in the third, that’s when I lost myself a little bit. I think I could have moved more, I stopped moving a little and that movement was my defense.”
The loss snapped Marlon Moraes’ (22-6-1) four-fight winning streak, including victories over the likes of Raphael Assuncao, Jimmie Rivera, Aljamain Sterling and John Dodson. All but one of those wins coming by stoppage.
In the meantime, Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan have both emerged as new contenders for the bantamweight belt. It remains to be seen if they can have any more success trying to fight off Henry Cejudo’s pace and pressure.