He’s Calling Himself the Greatest Combat Sports Athlete in History… And it’s Getting Difficult to Argue With Him… Henry Cejudo is a Two-Weight UFC Champion After Adding the Bantamweight Title to His Trophy Case… But He Had to Work For it…
If you tuned out after the first round, you’d assume that Henry Cejudo would be leaving Chicago in a wheelchair, such as Marlon Moraes was so dominant. However, Cejudo is a special class of fighter. He knows how to make adjustments and has an incredible winner’s mentality and never-say-die attitude.
He fought Brazil’s Moraes in the main event of UFC Chicago for the vacant bantamweight championship of the world. The belt was left without a holder after TJ Dillashaw tested positive for EPO. Moraes was the favourite coming into this after several sensational quickfire knockout wins.
However, it was Cejudo who would walk away with two belts over his shoulder at the end of the night, and an Olympic gold medal in wrestling around his neck. He might make you cringe every time he opens his mouth, but by god he’s brilliant.
— UFC (@ufc) June 9, 2019
This was a tale of three rounds. In the first Moraes looked sensational. Longer, tall and rangy – at least for a bantamweight – he was able to keep Cejudo at kicking range. He let loose with kicks to the Mexican-American’s legs and you could see the flyweight champion struggling to cope with them.
‘The Messenger’ wasn’t able to do anything. ‘Magic’ kept him at bay and Cejudo only had one takedown attempt in the entire first round. Meanwhile, his legs were getting eaten up as Moraes dominated the technical battle. This was not how Cejudo wanted this fight to go.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 9, 2019
However, when he went back to his corner, he was told that this was exactly what happened against Demetrious Johnson and not to worry. He was told to make some adjustments, and about halfway through the second round, he clicked into gear.
Suddenly, Cejudo was closing the distance, getting inside and landing on a stunned Moraes. Even crazier was his use of the Thai clinch, which Moraes seemed totally unable to cope with. Cejuodo would grab the Brazilian and then fire off several vicious unanswered knees to his head. He snatched the second round in savage style.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) June 9, 2019
Moraes was told by his corner in no uncertain terms not to throw away what he had earned. They tried to motivate him by reminding him about the sacrifices his mother had made for him back in Brazil. Unfortunately for ‘Magic’, it was too late for him. He was visibly exhausted. When you’re checking the clock in the third round of a championship fight you know you’ve got a problem.
Cejudo poured on the pressure, landing knees and punches. He took down Moraes and used his dominant top game to overwhelm the Brazilian and let loose with ground-and-pound. After several unanswered ground-and-pound strikes, referee Marc Goddard put an end to the fight.
In his post-fight interview, Cejudo said “I’m not a champ-champ! I’m Triple C.” We won’t argue with him. It was a truly epic comeback. Now that he’s got a bantamweight title though, the remains of the flyweight division must know that their days are numbered in the UFC.