Following a first round submission against Raphael Assuncao on Saturday night, Marlon Moraes says it’s time for a new UFC contract and a shot against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw.
That was the message Moraes passed along after avenging the only loss of his UFC career with a dominant showcase against Assuncao in the main event from Fortaleza, Brazil.
After a split decision in their first fight, Moraes left nothing to chance by cracking Assuncao with a pair of right hands that dropped him to the mat before he finished with a guillotine choke in the opening round.
With four wins in a row including two knockouts and a submission, Moraes feels like there’s no other option for him but to finally face Dillashaw with the bantamweight title on the line.
The only caveat to that plan is Dillashaw asking for a rematch against flyweight champion Henry Cejudo, who finished him by TKO in just 32 seconds two weeks ago at the UFC’s debut card on ESPN+.
“Cejudo’s a flyweight and I’m worried about my division at bantamweight,” Moraes said at the post fight press conference. “TJ Dillashaw is the champion and he hasn’t lost his title and he’s going to defend it and I’m here to challenge him.
“[The rematch] that’s not going to happen. Cejudo is going to keep his division and the bantamweight division, Dillashaw is the champion.”
As confident as he is that the UFC will do the right thing and force Dillashaw to defend his title at 135 pounds against the true No. 1 contender in the division, Moraes also has business left to handle with his employers as well.
The former World Series of Fighting champion has gone 4-1 in the UFC thus far in his career while rocketing up the bantamweight division rankings. Now Moraes hopes to ink a new contract with the UFC with the first fight on that deal coming against Dillashaw with the bantamweight title on the line.
“First of all, I want a new contract,” Moraes explained. “I want a contract and the first fight has to be for the title. The time has come. I’m ready. I’m at my prime, I can’t wait more. It’s my time to fight for the belt and to win. I’m going to fight for the belt and I’m going to win and I’m going to be the champion.”
Moraes says he’s happy with the UFC so this isn’t a problem with the promotion but rather he just believes it’s time to renegotiation ahead of any potential title shot.
“I have a really good agreement with the UFC. They contracted me when I was a champion and I have nothing to complain [about] but the time has come to get a better contract and to fight for the belt,” Moraes said.
“I still have fights left with the UFC on my contract but it’s time to get a better one.”