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Did the Henry Cejudo loss derail Marlon Moraes' career?

Henry Cejudo dishing out punishment to Marlon Moraes
Henry Cejudo dishing out punishment to Marlon Moraes
Jacob Felder
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 11 Oct 2020, 10:25 IST
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Marlon Moraes suffered his seventh MMA loss this Saturday to Cory Sandhagen at UFC Fight Island 5. The Brazilian fighter did not look good in his last three bouts, and Henry Cejudo might be responsible for it.

After a rough start in his pro MMA career, Marlon Moraes went on an impressive win streak in the World Series of Fighting (now PFL). He amassed a thirteen fight win streak and eventually signed with the UFC. Unfortunately, Moraes lost his UFC debut against a veteran in Raphael Assunção.

Nevertheless, Marlon Moraes silenced all doubters in his next four fights. Besides his second bout in the UFC, all other matches were finishes, including an impressive knockout over current #2 contender, Aljamain Sterling. At this point, many considered him the dark horse of the division.

Moraes rematched Assunção and won via a guillotine choke less than two years later. This victory warranted his first-ever title shot in the UFC.

Henry Cejudo might have stolen Marlon Moraes' magic

The Brazilian fighter then fought the 'King of Cringe' or arguably the Greatest Combat Athlete of All Time, Henry Cejudo for the UFC bantamweight title.

Surprisingly, Moraes outclassed Cejudo in the first round. However, as the fight progressed, Cejudo displayed his heart as he bit down on his mouthpiece and took the fight to his opponent.

Cejudo's move paid dividends in the third round as he TKO'ed the magic out of Marlon Moraes.

Since his loss to Cejudo, Marlon Moraes has not been the same. His fight against Jose Aldo was a close call and it could have gone either way. Moraes got the nod but to this day, many fans and pundits feel that the former Featherweight king should have won. Even the UFC supported that notion by granting Aldo a title shot over Moraes.

That lackluster performance was then followed by a TKO loss to Cory Sandhagen earlier today.

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Sandhagen is no joke inside the cage but losing like that to the #4 ranked contender is not good for Moraes' career.

UFC Fight Night: Moraes v Sandhagen
UFC Fight Night: Moraes v Sandhagen

He was not as sharp as fans expected him to be, and there could be many reasons for it. One of them might be the devastating loss to Cejudo. We never saw the same Marlon Moraes after that loss.

Age can be a factor too. Moraes has been competing for over 13 years in MMA. He turned 32 this year and might be exiting his prime.

However, he looks physically fit. The problem seems to be more on the mental side than physical.

Published 11 Oct 2020, 10:23 IST
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