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CHICAGO – Henry Cejudo used misdirection to dispel a report about an injury sustained prior to his UFC 238 bantamweight title fight with Marlon Moraes. Afterward, though, Cejudo came clean.
Cejudo (15-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) became the seventh fighter in UFC history to claim titles in two weight classes on Saturday when he defeated Moraes (21-6-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) by third-round TKO to add the bantamweight title to his flyweight strap.
It wasn’t an easy fight for “The Messenger,” who had to weave through Moraes’ powerful offense before turning the tide and getting the finish. It was made more challenging by the fact he went in with a sprained right ankle, not the “little bump” on his knee he originally shared when questioned about being injured.
“I had suffered it on Tuesday night,” Cejudo told MMA Junkie at the post-UFC 238 news conference. “The first night that we got there, the UFC mats, they were kind of some cheap tape, and I stepped on the crack, which I thought it was sealed together, and I sprained my ankle.
“So the rumors were true. But I kind of had to keep it between myself, get therapy along the week. I was able to fight through adversity again, going in with adversity and then getting kicked exactly where it was hurting. I think that’s what also makes this victory extremely special.”
Cejudo said impact on the injury from Moraes’ kicks forced him to abandon the gameplan and find a different way to win. That’s exactly what happened, and the result was a historic achievement for Cejudo. He issued a hit list of future opponents following his title win, but for now said he has injuries to recover from as he enjoys the accomplishment.
“This puts me in a very secluded club,” Cejudo said. “I’m the fourth person to ever hold (two titles) simultaneously. That was almost never my goal. My goal was just to win the Olympics, be UFC champion, and that’s it. Then I saw my improvement as a mixed martial artist. The mind and the people around me, that all changed and I’m like, ‘I can do this. Why not me?’ Hat’s off to Marlon Moraes. The dude is strong as steel.”
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