Henry Cejudo added to his impressive fight-CV by becoming just the fourth person in UFC history to be a consecutive two-weight world champion.
His third-round stoppage of Brazilian Marlon Moraes added the bantamweight strap to the flyweight belt already in his possession.
With a wrestling gold medal from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Cejudo’s latest win had many suggesting his now takes his place among the greatest fighters of all time.
Cejudo didn’t have things his all his own way though, the Brazilian looked strong in the first round using his kicks to keep the grappler at a safe distance.
It was a similar story going into the early knockings of the second, but Cejudo upped his work rate and managed to close the distance finding real joy with knees in the clinch.
As Moraes tired into the third, The Messenger was able to take control, eventually taking proceedings to the mat. A choke attempt was stunted, but Cejudo’s dominant ground game could not be quelled as he finished the fight with a flurry of punches and elbows to make history. Cejudo now stands at 15-2, Moraes slips to a 22-6 record.
Elsewhere, the highly anticipated lightweight clash between Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone ended in something of a disappointment.
Going into the fight both men knew a win would secure a fight with the winner of UFC 242’s headliner in Abu Dhabi – Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier – but after an electrifying first two rounds, which still garnered the Fight of the Night accolade, it would be the doctor who would bring a premature end to the contest.
Cerrone, now 36-12, had taken the first round with an accurate and varied attack targeting the whole of Ferguson’s body. The fight stayed upright for much of the second stanza, but it was Ferguson now doing the damage.
He drew blood early in the round, landing heavily to the face of the Cowboy, who was visibly marked around both eyes, thanks mainly to vicious jabs from Ferguson.
The round ended in controversy as El Cucuy landed a shot after the bell, but there was no point deduction.
Just as the third period was about to start, Cerrone appeared to blow his nose, causing a rush of air and blood to the already-damaged right eye causing it to practically close from the swelling.
After a brief consultation doctors declared him unfit to continue, handing Ferguson the win, a 25-3 record, and a title shot in the not-too-distant future.
Women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko defended her crown in devastating fashion against number-one contender Jessica Eye.
After dominating the first round on the ground, The Bullet landed a devastating head-kick in the opening seconds of round two rendering Eye unconscious before she even hit the canvas.
It was one of the most brutal knockout in the history of the women’s game, and took Shevchenko to 17-3, while Eye dropped to 14-7.
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