Earlier this month, TJ Dillashaw defended the UFC bantamweight title with a first-round knockout his rival Cody Garbrandt. On the same night, Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo did the unthinkable, capturing the UFC flyweight title from seemingly unstoppable flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson.
Since then, Dillashaw and Cejudo have flirted with the notion of fighting each other. At first, the idea was that Cejudo would move up to bantamweight to challenge Dillashaw. More recently, however, Dillashaw and his coach Duane Ludwig have implied interest in dropping to flyweight to fight Cejudo.
If TJ Dillashaw does battle Cejudo next, top bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes feels that he should vacate the bantamweight belt. Whatever the case, he’d like Dillashaw and Ludwig to stop trying to call the shots.
“Yes man, 100-percent [he should vacate],” Moraes said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (transcript via MMAMania). “But the situation now is kind of getting crazy because 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.”
If TJ Dillashaw does vacate the belt, Marlon Moraes would be happy to battle Dominick Cruz for the vacant title. Otherwise, he feels he should be given priority over Cruz for the next bantamweight title shot.
“I feel like he [Cruz] had a long layoff,” he said. “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.”
“If TJ goes down and vacates the belt, I would be more than welcome to that opportunity,” he added. “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.”
“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 [Dillashaw]. If he wants to be the best he has to fights the best and I think I’m at the top now.”
“TJ 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.”
Who do you want to see Marlon Moraes and TJ Dillashaw fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/14/2018.