While Jose Aldo is off chasing a title shot after being lured in by UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo, the man who defeated him via split decision at UFC 245, Marlon Moraes, is eying other opponents.
Marlon Moraes may have had his hand raised at UFC 245, but many people, chief among them Jose Aldo and UFC President Dana White, believed that he was not the rightful winner. Another important name who scored the fight for Aldo was Henry Cejudo, who believed that Aldo did enough to not only win the fight, but also earned a title shot against him. Marlon Moraes had already lost to Henry Cejudo in his fight prior to UFC 245, so even though it was him, not Aldo, who got the victory, Moraes had some other opponents in mind for his next bout:
“Man, I’d like to fight either Dominick Cruz or Sterling,” Moraes said at the UFC 245 post-fight press conference. “I don’t like Sterling at all, and I would love to take his chance to ever fight for the title. That’s the two names I have in my mind right now.”
Marlon Moraes will have a difficult time unleashing his contempt for Sterling better than he already did when he knocked out Sterling viciously with a knee to the head in 2017, but he seems eager to try. A fight with Dominick Cruz would be a fresh opponent for Moraes, but Cruz is still out recovering from shoulder surgery and has not competed since 2016. So of the two, a fight with Sterling seems more likely.
Aljamain Sterling has also called for a fight with Dominick Cruz in the past, but most recently all of his attention has been on receiving a world title shot after winning four consecutive fights, most recently against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 238. But with Sterling’s most recent loss coming to Moraes, there is a chance Sterling would temporarily redirect his gaze to Moraes to try to earn redemption.
Who do you believe the UFC should pair Marlon Moraes up with next?