Former World Series of Fighting bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes, who is now arguably the top contender in the stacked UFC bantamweight division, wants the next crack at divisional kingpin TJ Dillashaw.
Shortly after Dillashaw authored a second, destructive win over former champ Cody Garbrandt in the main event of UFC 227 on Saturday, Moraes took to Twitter to call him out. Specifically, Moraes is hoping to fight Dillashaw at UFC 229 on October 6, which will, of course, be headline by a lightweight title mega fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.
— Marlon Moraes (@MMARLONMORAES) August 5, 2018
“Congrats Champ!” Moraes said to Dillashaw on Twitter. “Now what???? … Let’s go October 6th.”
While Marlon Moraes is the best option for Dillashaw’s next title defense in the eyes of many fans, many others feel the next title shot should go to former champion Dominick Cruz, who holds a razor close 2016 win over Dillashaw. Luckily for Moraes, Dillashaw doesn’t seem willing to accept a fight with Cruz just yet.
“I’m not ever afraid of a challenge, but hey, Dominick Cruz hasn’t even fought since he lost the belt,” Dillashaw said on FS1 after UFC 227 (via Sherdog). “He made me chase around No. 1 contenders, so get to work, Dominick.”
Another option for Dillashaw’s next fight is new UFC flyweight champ Henry Cejudo, who called him out post-fight. Once again, however, this challenge doesn’t seem to interest Dillashaw at present.
“I don’t really think the guy would deserve it,” Dillashaw said of Cejudo’s call for a bantamweight title super fight (via MMAjunkie).
“I mean, Joseph Benavidez just beat him,” Dillashaw said. “Yeah, [Benavidez] lost a split decision to [Sergio] Pettis, but I didn’t agree with that loss. So I think there’s a lot of stuff there, and he’s possibly got a trilogy with [Demetrious Johnson]. I’m open to whatever, though. I’m not stepping away from a challenge, that’s for sure.”
Given that Dillashaw doesn’t seem keen on fighting Cruz or Cejudo just yet, the door could be wide open for the surging Marlon Moraes. Do you think he deserves the next title shot at bantamweight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/6/2018.