From Gold Medalist to Champ Champ: Henry Cejudo Wins Big at UFC 238
Cejudo Becomes Double UFC Champ
Fanatic Wrestling’s Henry Cejudo added his name to a very short list: becoming a double champion by defeating Marlon Moraes at UFC 238 for the vacant bantamweight title.
Cejudo, the UFC Flyweight Champion, came into the fight fresh off of his first-round TKO victory over then-UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night 143. After the fight, it was revealed that Dillashaw tested positive for EPO in the pre-fight and post-fight screenings. Dillashaw was subsequently stripped of the title, leading to Saturday’s fight against Moraes.
Henry’s opponent, Marlon Moraes, had his own string of success prior to UFC 238. The Muay Thai/BJJ fighter had previously beaten Jimmie Rivera June 1st, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 131 by KO in round one and Raphael Assunção via guillotine choke in round one at UFC Fight Night 144 back in February.
Round one started off evenly paced, with Cejudo working to get inside the pocket and Moraes keeping him at bay with leg kicks. Cejudo attempted a low single early on but was stuffed in the process. The two continued to exchange blows back and forth, with Moraes just getting the edge on points.
Round two saw a much more aggressive Cejudo, who found better success working shorter shots against the body and mixing up knees from the Thai clinch with stiff uppercuts. The two had a great back-and-forth exchange in the middle of the round, but Cejudo continued to cut off Moraes’ angles and continued to work him with knees. The round ends off of another exchange.
By round three, Cejudo keeps applying pressure on the feet despite head kick attempts by Moraes. He pushes him against the cage and pummels in, but the two continued to strike. An accidental eye poke by Cejudo (with Joe Rogan remarking that it was only a punch) paused the action momentarily. Cejudo and Moraes both wind up in over-unders against the cage with Cejudo applying pressure. The momentum turned completely in Cejudo’s favor with an anaconda choke leading to Moraes seated against the cage.
It’s here where commentator Daniel Cormier remarks on Cejudo’s cardio and pressure, “That comes from that high-level wrestling, beating Demetrious Johnson for over twenty-five minutes. It’s just an ability to relax in the face of pure adversity, that’s carrying Henry Cejudo right now.”
Cejudo ends up in Moraes’ guard and the latter attempts an armbar that’s shaken away. Cejudo transitioned into half-guard and rained punches and elbows onto his opponent, resulting in the referee stoppage and the title victory for Cejudo.
After the fight, Cejudo remarked, “I am the greatest combat athlete of all time, and I just stole the title of best pound-for-pound fighter too.” He also wasted no time throwing down the gauntlet for his next potential opponent, name-dropping Dominick Cruz, Uriah Faber, Cody Garbrandt, and eventually the 145 lb. weight class.
With his victory on Saturday, Henry Cejudo became a VIP member on a list only four people long, joining Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, and Amanda Nunez as the UFC’s double champions.
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