Marlon Moraes scored his fourth straight win — third consecutive first-round finish — inside the Octagon last Saturday night (Feb. 2, 2019) by submitting Raphael Assuncao in the very first round in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 2 in Fortaleza, Brazil (see it).
The win set him up nicely for a shot at the Bantamweight title, which is currently in the hands of TJ Dillashaw. In “Magic’s” eyes, though, he is the true division champion since TJ just got his clock cleaned by current Flyweight champion, Henry Cejudo.
“If you ask me, I feel like I am the 135-pound champion. I am the best 135 pounder in the world. The guy, the champion just went down and he lost in 30 seconds against a 125 pounder. So I feel like I am the champion,” said Moraes during a recent interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
Still, he would be more than happy to welcome TJ back to the 135-pound weight class just to make it official.
“Whatever they want to do, if they want to bring him up, I am going to be very happy to welcome him and settle this,” he said. “Right now I have no talk about any fight or anything. My only focus is going there and fight for the belt.”
Interestingly enough, Marlon revealed he only has one more fight left on his current UFC deal, and if a title shot doesn’t come with his new contract, he isn’t interested.
“If not the belt, I am going to move forward and see what I’m going to do. I’m in the sport to be champion, the time comes and the time is now. There is nothing to discuss. I am going to fight for the title and that’s it.”
The only threat could be standing in Marlon’s way is Cejudo, as “The Messenger” has expressed interest in moving up to challenge TJ after granting him the chance to fight for his 125-pound belt. Should UFC ultimately decide to do away with the flyweight division in the near future, a rematch between Cejudo and Dillashaw is possible.
Should that arise, it will leave Marlon with a very interesting decision regarding his UFC future.