TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/12: Marlon Moraes will walk away if he doesn’t get next bantamweight title shot, Cain Velasquez says he could be Jon Jones, Marc Goddard owns up to bad stoppage

By Cole Henry, mmatorch Contributor

Feb 2, 2019; Fortaleza, Brazil; Marlon Moraes (blue gloves) reacts to the fight against Raphael Assuncao (red gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Arena CFO. Mandatory Credit: Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Marlon Moraes: World Title or bust

When Marlon Moraes was competing as a member of the WSOF roster he was a huge fish in a small pond. He was undefeated there, and this led to him often being a topic of debate when discussing the best bantamweights in the world. But then it was all hypothetical. Things are different now. Marlon Moraes has won four of five UFC bouts, including four straight wins, and three by stoppage. He is the most deserving bantamweight title challenger in the world, and that fact isn’t lost on him. But it isn’t that simple. Moraes is going into the final fight of his contract, and he has no interest in negotiating an extension unless the final bout is for the belt.

“I do want to talk about the contract, but my first fight has got to be for the belt. My next fight’s the title shot if it’s not a title shot, no new contract.”

Moraes may be taking a hard stance here but things aren’t so simple. The division champion, TJ Dillashaw was knocked out just a few weeks ago, and the man that did it also wants to fight for the bantamweight title, or maybe he doesn’t and he’d prefer Dillashaw back down at flyweight. Whichever is true, the point is that the title situation isn’t clear at 135 which is unfortunate for Moraes, who is clearly the most deserving challenger currently competing in the bantamweight division.

Cain Velasquez vs. Jon Jones?

Cain Velasquez hasn’t even returned from his injury layoff and he is already making big plans for the future. The former heavyweight king will return to action this weekend against Francis Ngannou, but it seems like he isn’t the only fighter on the former champ’s mind. When asked about a potential fight with Jon Jones, Velasquez had this to say…

“I think I could [beat him]. I think I’m good enough. Jon Jones, he’s an amazing athlete. I’ve watched him in all of his fights, I know what he’s capable of.” (Via TMZ)

This is obviously just a random comment right now, but it is certainly a fight that we could see somewhere down the road. Wouldn’t it be something else to see Daniel Cormier cornering Cain Velasquez for a fight against Jon Jones? It would just be another interesting chapter in what is already one of the more interesting stories in all of MMA.

Marc Goddard issues an apology

If you don’t respect Marc Goddard, I don’t know what to tell you. Goddard was criticized for what was perceived as an early stoppage in the Sam Alvey/Jim Crute fight from this past weekend and after watching the replay it seems that he believes the criticism is just. Here is his apology…

“I know that Sam obviously jumped straight back up, obviously demonstrating to me and telling me he’s OK. But at that point, the fight is called. Going back and looking at it again, if I could run it back again, yeah, I would have taken a half step back. I would have let another two shots, or three shots play out. And I’m going to put it down to a mistake. I’m big and ugly enough to do that. … People are saying, ‘Didn’t you see Sam’s thumb up?’ No, I didn’t, because his arm is outstretched, and my vision is on where these shots are trying to land. … I’m sorry to Sam, I really am. I feel bad. But all I want people to try and do is understand where my mental aspect came from. Had I stopped the fight from the ground and pound alone, people would be rightly jumping all over me. But I’m not. It was the fact of what happened before that. … I want these guys to have their trust and faith in me. I don’t know. Sometimes it’s like the old adage — you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. (Via MMAFighting)

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