Henry Cejudo won an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. A decade later, in 2018, he became a UFC champion by defeating Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227. He's the only fighter in the promotion's history to have won an Olympic gold medal and a UFC championship. On Saturday, Cejudo added to his accolades by winning a second UFC title.
Cejudo holds the belt in the flyweight division and moved up a weight class to take on Marlon Moraes in the UFC 238 main event with the 135-pound title on the line. Cejudo would get the job done, but not without having to overcome adversity.
Moraes, who entered the bout having won bonuses in each of his last three outings, took the fight to Cejudo in the opening round. He landed leg kick after leg kick forcing Cejudo to change stances. The opening frame was a one-sided round with Moraes looking like he was on his way to victory.
Cejudo made adjustments in the second round and everything changed. He pressured Moraes and stayed in boxing range. His right hand started finding a home. He delivered knees from the clinch position. As the round played out, Moraes had clearly slowed.
In the third round, Cejudo continued to pressure Moraes. He tied Moraes up and delivered knees to the body. Cejudo dragged Moraes to the ground and looked to locked on a submission. Moraes defended the submission attempt but found himself on the receiving end of Cejudo's ground and pound. Cejudo landed vicious elbows and hammer fists until the referee stepped in to stop the fight.
"I'm not champ-champ ladies and gentlemen. I'm Triple C: Olylmpic champion, flyweight champion of the world and now bantamweight champion of the world. I am the greatest combat athlete of all time, and I just stole the title for the best pound-for-pound fighter too," said Cejudo after the win.
"I knew Marlon was throwing a lot of power and when you throw with that much power you're going to get burnt. He threw too much of it. I kept my composure. I stayed active, and that's all there was to it."
Now that Cejudo has two UFC titles, he'd like to get pay raise. "Triple C" also revealed his "hit list" of opponents that he'd like to fight. He also stated that he'd like to move up to the 145-pound division and see if he can win a third belt.
"Mr. Dana White, where ever you are, I have a hit list but I want to start getting paid. I want to start making heavyweight money," he said. "I'm a prize fighter. For all you 135-pounders, I'm going to call out people personally: Dominick Cruz, Cody Garbrandt, Urijah Faber. At 145-pounds, I would like to eventually go up another weight class and solidify another belt too."