“Olympic champion, flyweight champion of the world and now bantamweight champion of the world.”
Marlon Moraes and Henry Cejudo met at the crossroads for the main event at UFC 238 last night. The Brazilian challenger held the distinction of number one contender status in the bantamweight division. Since T.J Dillashaw had to vacate the bantam belt due to a doping scandal, the division was seemingly his for the taking – which is evidently why Moraes treated Cejudo like an unwanted guest in his house.
Cejudio’s aspirations towards multi-division excellence were encouraged by UFC boss Dana White, much to the chagrin of Moraes, who watched as the former Olympian was granted what he felt was an undeserved “bye” up the bantamweight ranks. For Moraes, the feeling was akin to a stranger stealing food right from the grasps of a beggar in need.
Unfortunately for Marlon Moraes, he was not up to the task last night. After a dominant display in the first round, Moraes would succumb to Cejudo’s mode of attrition. By the 3rd round, a battered Moraes was brought to the ground where a flurry of overhead strikes awaited him. Referee Marc Goddard would inevitably put an end to the contest once it had become apparent that Moraes could no longer defend himself.
“I’m not champ-champ,” Cejudo exclaimed in a post-fight monologue. “My name is Triple C — Olympic champion, flyweight champion of the world and now bantamweight champion of the world. I’m the greatest combat athlete of all time and I just stole the title of best pound-for-pound fighter too.”
In the aftermath of his devastating loss, Moraes had very little to say beyond an expression of gratitude towards his fans and supporters. “Thanks for everyone’s support,” he wrote on Instagram. “The fight continues.”
GGG makes light work of his opponent last night at Madison Square Garden.
Gennady Golovkin made quick work of Steve Rolls last night, in what was always billed a tune-up fight for the former Middleweight titlist. Andy Ruiz’ shocking upset of Anthony Joshua last week, prompted the unheralded Rolls to speak of his chances with far more confidence than in previous weeks, months – leading up to the fight.
Steve Rolls was always going to be a live underdog in a fight against an opponent of GGG’s pedigree. The Kazakh fighter had gone quiet in the months following his majority decision loss to the Canelo Alvarez. The loss and Alvarez’ subsequent handling of Brooklyn’s Daniel Jacobs on Cinco de Mayo elevated the Mexican to lineal status in the Middleweight division, and to some pundits: a three-way tie for the P4P rankings with Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford in the lower weight divisions.
Incidentally, Golovkin was hopeful a tune-up with Rolls would be enough to entice the unified champ to sign on for a third, non-decisive matchup. In that regard, GGG did not disappoint – handing his new opponent (Rolls) a blemish to his resume with a 4th round KO.
Golovkin’s fight against Steve Rolls figured as the first without his longtime trainer Abel Sanchez, with whom he grew dissident over time. It also marked the first contracted fight under his lucrative six-fight deal, slated to garner him over nine-figures in total revenue. Golovkin shared his elation in the post-fight interview, in the boastful manner typified by the GGG fight fans have grown to love/expect.
“I feel great. I feel like a new baby. Right now, I feel completely different because I came back to my knockout. I love knockouts, and I love New York. It was a great night all around,” he concluded, without paying his battered opponent any lip service whatsoever.
“Everybody knows. The fans know who they want me to fight next,” Golovkin continued. “I’m ready for September. I’m ready for Canelo. Just bring him, just ask him. I’m ready. If you want big drama show, please tell him. I’m ready to bring back the big-drama show.” So there’s that, GGG feels as though he’s done enough to justify another contest with Canelo. What do you think, does Golovkin need another tune-up before re-enters the elite? Hit us with your thoughts.
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