After UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw was forced to relinquish his title on the heels of adverse USADA results, UFC needed to come up with something for the 135-pound division.
It now looks like current UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo and surging bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes will meet for UFC’s interim 135-pound strap later this year.
UFC president Dana White revealed his plans to book the Cejudo vs. Moraes interim title fight during last night’s UFC on ESPN+ 6’s post-fight show in Nashville, Tennessee (shown above courtesy of ESPN).
“I now have a plan. I didn’t have a plan before, now I have a plan,” said White. “It looks like we’re going to do the [Marlon] Moraes-[Henry] Cejudo fight. They both want that fight really bad, seems like a good fight to make with the whole [TJ] Dillashaw thing now.”
This is especially good news for Cejudo who was anticipating a rematch with Dillashaw for the bantamweight title after knocking “Viper” out in a flyweight title fight back in January. “The Messenger” has seen a rise in stardom since his win over Demetrious Johnson last year and could really take his stock to the next level as a double champ.
As for Moraes, this would be well deserved. The former World Series of Fighting (WSOF) bantamweight champion hit a small speed bump early into his UFC career, but has since looked like a 135-pound wrecking ball. His recent submission victory over Raphael Assuncao pushed his current win streak to four, which also includes knockouts of Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera, and put his name at the top of the list for deserving title contenders.
There is currently no date or event attached to the potential Cejudo vs. Moraes interim title fight.