UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo said Monday that a fight against Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight title on June 8 in Chicago is in the works, and he added that if a failed drug test by TJ Dillashaw — which led him to vacating the belt last week — turns out to be a serious violation, “I would never fight him again.”
During an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, the 32-year-old said the UFC’s plans for the next 135-pound title bout are in the works. “Nothing’s really finalized,” Cejudo said. “Nothing’s finalized on the date or what-not. Not even the contracts have been signed. But they’re thinking June 8, Chicago — Chi-town main event.”
June 8 is the date of UFC 238 at the United Center.
Moraes, appearing later on the Helwani show, did not confirm the date but spoke of Cejudo as if he was an imminent opponent. “If it’s June 8, we are three months away, 12 weeks,” he said. “And this is my life. This is all that I work for. I’m a step closer, and it’s about to go down. Somebody’s about to go down, and that’s definitely not me.”
Cejudo, who won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 2008 Olympics, acknowledged that UFC president Dana White’s original plan was for him to attempt to become a two-division champion in a rematch with Dillashaw, whom he knocked out in 32 seconds to retain his 125-pound belt in January. “Yeah, that was the plan,” he said. “That’s what Dana wanted, that’s what we wanted, that’s what TJ wanted. Everybody wanted the fight. And it was going to be a pretty big payday for me.”
That plan fell apart last week when Dillashaw announced that he was voluntarily relinquishing his title after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and the New York State Athletic Commission informed him of an “adverse finding” in a drug test administered the day before the Cejudo fight. Neither agency has revealed details of those findings.
That gives Cejudo pause. “He let the belt go, and nobody does that,” he said. “Nobody does that. So that just lets you know how possibly severe the case can be.”
And if it turns out that Dillashaw failed for something more serious than a diuretic to aid his weight cut, Cejudo said, it would confirm his biggest concerns about the safety of the fight game. “You go through this roller-coaster, where you go from being sad to being mad,” he said. “You go, wait, what if he would have beat me up, like Brock [Lesnar] did with Mark Hunt? Sometimes these things cross through your head, because you just never know. This ain’t baseball, man. If this all comes out to be true, I would never feel comfortable fighting somebody like that again.”