MOORE: 10 bantamweight title fights we might see

By Christian Moore, 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

10: Pedro Munhoz vs Aljamain Sterling

I believe this is the only fight on the list without Moraes or Cejudo, and that has its reason. IF Cejudo AND Moraes are out, then this fight will happen 100%, but that is a mega if. This fight doesn’t see a huge draw, but it would be an okay fight. It just would have the feeling of filler, waiting for Moraes or Cejudo to challenge.

Possibility: Unlikely

9: Marlon Moraes vs Frankie Edgar

Now, I don’t see this fight happening. However, Edgar is a trooper and a terrific fighter, and if he got the call, knowing Edgar, he would take it. Compared to other fights on this list, this is near the top of a selling fight, but we’ll probably see the 2 men just remain in their respective weight classes.

Possibility: Very Unlikely

8: Marlon Moraes vs Raphael Assuncao 3

Now, if the news with TJ broke sooner than it did, this would’ve been the fight. However, Moraes already got his win back, and pretty convincingly as well. But, we could see a trilogy as the idea of the 3rd fight could draw interest from fans, but we just won’t see this fight. It is bad timing for Assuncao, because the bust coming sooner, could’ve made his last fight a title fight, (he still would’ve lost), or the bust coming later, possibly giving him the chance to get an impressive win, and trilogy with Moraes for the belt.

Possibility: Unlikely

7: Marlon Moraes vs Petr Yan

As far as fights that appeal to me, this fight is the top of the list. Both men have a great ground game, and KO power, and we would see Moraes try to stop Petr Yan, something that hasn’t even looked possible since his UFC debut. I think Yan need 1 more impressive win to get that title shot, but with a Moraes win, could easily be Moraes’ first title defense.

Possibility: Unlikely Now

6: Marlon Moraes vs John Lineker

Now we get into possible fights. This fight sees itself come together with Cejudo not fighting Moraes, and Munhoz and Sterling declining or getting hurt. This isn’t too much of a crazy idea, being that Lineker could see himself slip in as the replacement pretty easily. Now, this fight isn’t too likely compared to others, but it has a chance

Possibility: Slightly Possible

5: Henry Cejudo vs Pedro Munhoz

Into the first of fights that is a true potential fight. With a Moraes injury or pull out, this is the fight. Munhoz, out of other top-ranked bantamweights, is the obvious #2 in the division only behind Moraes. This fight has potential, and although wouldn’t sell too well, would be a good fight to make.

Possibility: Likely

4: Dominick Cruz vs Marlon Moraes

Okay okay okay….. Before you think “Well Dominick Cruz is out for a year,” let me explain myself. Cruz has an expected return date of December 2019 to early 2020. Now, while we most likely see the fight at UFC 238 in Brazil, a delay to that could make this a real possibility. This fight is very similar to the Petr Yan fight in that Moraes probably doesn’t draw Cruz immediately, but these two could be across the cage from one-another soon enough.

Possibility: Unlikely Now

3: Marlon Moraes vs Aljamain Sterling 2

So if I rank the top 4 men that should be in the title fight, it goes Moraes, Cejudo, Munhoz, and Sterling. Although Sterling sits behind Cejudo and Munhoz in deserving a title fight in my mind, a second fight could be very appealing for the UFC. We see the unstoppable Moraes, challenge a man who he beat, but was it a fluke? Sterling has been on a tear, and with campaigning, and a little luck could score this fight.

Possibility: Very Likely

2: Henry Cejudo vs Marlon Moraes

Now, this is the fight people expect at #1 I’m sure. The only reason I have it at 2, is because they may not want to fight each other. Both share the same manager, that may not want this fight. However, besides Cruz/Moraes, this is the biggest draw. This would be terrific to see the best Flyweight, versus the best Bantamweight for Bantamweight gold. It makes sense. The only hiccup being clients not fighting each other, but money talks

Possibility: Very Likely


1: Marlon Moraes vs Pedro Munhoz

Now, this is the fight you should expect. Munhoz and Moraes are the obvious #1 and #2 of the division, although Sterling is ranked higher, Munhoz is coming off an incredible fight, KOing a former champion. As far as rankings go, Moraes vs Sterling is the best by rankings, but Munhoz has put on a show his last few fights, something that Sterling hasn’t. So, if we’re sticking with bantamweights, this is the fight to make. Cejudo may choose to sit this one out or maybe not. Either way, this seems like the fight the UFC most wants to make, so let’s see what happens.

Possibility: Most Likely

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