Marlon Moraes has done his part to earn a title shot but in his mind he’s already the best bantamweight in the world.
This past Saturday night in Brazil, Moraes avenged his only defeat in the UFC in resounding fashion as he knocked down and then submitted Raphael Assuncao in the first round.
Moraes has now won four fights in a row including three first round finishes with two knockouts and his submission victory over Assuncao this past weekend.
When looking at the current rankings from the UFC and the fighters who are still ahead of him, Moraes doesn’t see how he’s not already considered the best bantamweight in the sport.
Specifically, Moraes takes aim at current champion TJ Dillashaw and former champions Cody Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz, who are all coming off losses right now.
“What the heck is TJ, Cody and Dominick Cruz doing there?” Moraes said to ESPN on the UFC post fight show. “They should be behind me. That ranking’s wrong.
“Cody just lost twice to TJ and TJ just lost to a flyweight. Dominick Cruz is out more than two years. I think I should be No. 1.”
Moraes isn’t wrong when he breaks down the top fighters ahead of him in the rankings with Dillashaw suffering a TKO defeat to flyweight champion Henry Cejudo in just 32 seconds in his most recent outing.
Meanwhile, Garbrandt fell to Dillashaw in back-to-back fights and has his next bout booked at UFC 235 when he faces Pedro Munhoz. As for Cruz, he’s been out since his loss to Garbrandt at the end of 2016 and he’s expected to miss all of 2019 while recovering from shoulder surgery.
As much as he might feel like the best bantamweight in the world, Moraes still wants the chance to prove it.
That’s why he wants his shot against Dillashaw with the title on the line to settle the debate once and for all. The only problem is Moraes isn’t convinced Dillashaw wants to face him.
“I don’t know what TJ Dillashaw’s going to do,” Moraes said. “I don’t know if he wants to fight me.”
The UFC hasn’t determined anything yet regarding what comes next for Dillashaw, although UFC president Dana White has hinted that he’s leaning towards a rematch with Cejudo at 135 pounds.
Still, Moraes has definitely made his case to be considered the No. 1 contender and now it’s up to the UFC to decide who is next to fight for the title.