Potential Fights to Determine a New UFC Bantamweight King

UFC bantamweight
FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 02: Marlon Moraes of Brazil celebrates after his knockout victory over Raphael Assuncao of Brazil in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at CFO Centro de Formacao Olimpica on February 2, 2019 in Fortaleza, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

TJ Dillashaw is now the former UFC bantamweight champion and has vacated his UFC title. He took to Instagram early Wednesday to announce that he has relinquished the title. He stated that USADA and NYSAC had informed him of adverse findings from his test taken in his fight against Henry Cejudo. The former champion wanted to be the first to inform his fans.

Dillashaw said in his Instagram post, “Out of fairness and respect to the rest of my division, I’ve informed the UFC that I’ll be voluntarily relinquishing my title while I deal with this matter.” 

Because of this new development, the now vacant UFC bantamweight title is up for grabs. The NYSAC has suspended Dillashaw for one year and he has been fined $10,000.

With Dillashaw Out, Marlon Moraes will Likely get his Shot

Either way you look at this unfortunate situation, it’s clear that No. 1-ranked bantamweight Marlon Moraes has earned get a shot at the title sooner than he expected. The UFC was expected to make the rematch between Cejudo and Dillashaw. The first fight was quick and controversial, which warrants a rematch. However, it was uncertain which weight class it would be contended at. Dillashaw wanted to run it back at flyweight while Cejudo wanted his shot at being a double champ. This would have delayed a title shot for Moraes.

The UFC needs to fill the vacant bantamweight title spot. There are many great competitors ready for a shot, but who will get it? And who will win it?

Moraes vs. Cejudo

The UFC will likely make Henry Cejudo vs Marlon Moraes. Mainly because it is a big fight and also because of the interest Cejudo expressed to fight for the belt at bantamweight. The two fighters have also been trading words via twitter ramping up the possibility of this matchup. Seeing this fight announced soon would not be a surprise for anyone. That being said doesn’t mean Moraes is without other worthy opponents.

Moraes vs. Assuncao III

Looking at the UFC bantamweight rankings, a possible third fight between No. 1 and No. 2 bantamweights Marlon Moraes vs Raphael Assuncao could take place. The fight could be valid because the two are 1-1 in their two fights. Moraes lost the first bout in his UFC debut via split decision. Later the rematch would be made at UFC Fight Night 144 where Moraes would win by submission ( guillotine choke) in the first round. Due to their last fight, We are not sure if the UFC would take this route but is a possibility.

Moraes vs. Munhoz

Moraes is in a good position. The possibility for a title shot looks extremely promising. The question is, does knocking out the former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt put Munhoz in the position to fight Moraes for the title? Pedro Munhoz sure thinks so. Munhoz took to Twitter to guarantee UFC President Dana White that the fight would be a classic and would not go five rounds. Many fans agree and it seems to be a popular option.

Sterling vs. Munhoz

If the UFC wanted to leave Moraes without a shot or he gets injured, there still are some other great options. Aljamain Sterling is currently riding a three-fight win streak after defeating Jimmie Rivera this past February. Sterling is now ranked No. 3 in the world and Pedro Munhoz is ranked No. 4. Munhoz is also riding an impressive three-fight win streak. Sterling has called out Pedro Munhoz via Twitter as well as Cejudo and Moraes. Although this fight would be a great title fight, I feel this fight could be a great No. 1-contender fight and a good fight to have on the same card as the bantamweight title fight, just in case.

There are so many great possibilities at bantamweight to make an epic title fight. Twitter has been buzzing about the different matchups, plus some verbal jabs were thrown between top-ranked bantamweights and even flyweights. What matchups do you like? Tweet us your favorite matchups @MMASucka on twitter. Who do you think the #1 contender fight should be? We want to hear from you.

 

 

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