Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes will fight for the vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship at UFC 238.
The announcement comes seven days after former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw announced that he was “voluntarily relinquishing” his title. Dillashaw had been informed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) that “an adverse finding” had been found in a test taken from his fight with Cejudo.
The shocking news left a couple of deserving bantamweight contenders scrambling to garner interest in a title fight. In particular, Pedro Munhoz and Aljamain Sterling were jockeying for the chance to stand across from consensus top contender Marlon Moraes.
Munhoz’s recent three-fight winning streak has been topped off by an impressive knockout victory against Cody Garbrandt at UFC 235. Sterling is also making a move through the bantamweight division, having recently defeated Jimmie Rivera in his third consecutive win.
But the UFC ultimately looked past these two bantamweight contenders and instead opted to book flyweight champion Henry Cejudo in the title fight.
Henry Cejudo’s rise is like no other in the UFC today. The 32-year-old dethroned pound-for-pound king Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227 in August last year to become the flyweight champion. He then successfully defended his title from Dillashaw, who moved down from the bantamweight division to challenge for Cejudo’s belt. Cejudo stopped Dillashaw in just 32 seconds and has since risen to new heights.
He’ll be competing against Marlon Moraes, who has been destroying everyone in his path lately. Joining the UFC in 2017, Moraes lost his first fight with the promotion, dropping a split decision to Raphael Assuncao. He has since bounced back with four consecutive wins against some of the most notable names in the division, including John Dodson, Aljamain Sterling, Jimmie Rivera and most recently, Raphael Assuncao. Moraes has stopped all three of his last opponent’s inside the first round.
UFC 238 is scheduled to take place on June 8, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. Here’s the current fight card:
- Henry Cejudo vs. Marlon Moraes
- Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jessica Eye
- Tatiana Suarez vs. Nina Ansaroff
- Tai Tuivasa vs. Blagoy Ivanov
- Felice Herrig vs. Xiaonan Yan
- Katlyn Chookagian vs. Joanne Calderwood