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Marlon Moraes: If TJ Dillashaw doesn’t want to defend, he should vacate and let Dominick Cruz and I fight for title

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

After T.J. Dillashaw knocked out Cody Garbrandt for the second straight time at UFC 227 (see it again here), “Viper” turned his attention to a champion vs. champion bout against newly-crowned flyweight king, Henry Cejudo.

Needless to say that move didn’t sit too well with the contenders at 135 pounds, including Marlon Moraes, who — along with this guy -- says he deserves the next shot at the division strap.

“Yes man, 100-percent,” said Marlon on a recent interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “But the situation now is kind of getting crazy becasue Dillashaw and Duane Ludwig, they are calling the shots now. They want to match me up with Dominick Cruz, other guys. Why, man? Stop matching me up and just fight me.”

Marlon doesn’t see anyone else standing in his way, saying he’s done more than enough work in and out of the Octagon to warrant a shot at the title, saying his controversial loss to Raphael Assuncao shouldn’t prevent him from getting it since hes taken on and defeated tougher competition than his fellow countryman.

“Magic,” though, isn’t opposed to facing former champ Dominick Cruz — or rematching Assuncao — but says if T.J. wants to take his talents down to the 125-pound weight class, he needs to vacate the title.

“I feel like he (Cruz) had a long layoff. I agree with him, he is one of the best ever. But we got to see how he is now. Make a comeback, fight somebody else to see where he’s at,” he said.

“If T.J. goes down and vacates the belt, I would be more than welcome to that opportunity. It’s going to be an honor for me to fight such a great fighter like Dominick Cruz. I saw last week he said guys don’t talk about him, but I always talk about him. He is one of the best and I always look up to him,” he added. “The day I have to fight him, I am going to be down for it. I have no idea what UFC wants, but I am going to be down and I won’t say no. I just think I deserve the chance and I deserve to fight this guy. If he wants to be the best he has to fights the best and I think I’m at the top now,” he said.

“I’m waiting man, I am waiting for the opportunity. They know I’m down for fights and I want to fight. I want to work and I want to fight for the title. Let’ see if they can put all that together. I think so, especially now that T.J. wants to do anything but not defend the belt. I want to fight, Dominick said he wants to fight. If he (Dillashaw) don’t want to fight, vacate and let us fight.”

Dillashaw and Cejudo have been making the media rounds together since their respective wins at UFC 227, leading many to believe a showdown between the two champions is imminent. Should that be the case, who do you want to see Moraes take on to lock down his title shot?

If he hasn’t already.

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