Henry CejudoThe 2008 U.S. Olympic gold medal-winning freestyle wrestler now holds two UFC titles at the same time, adding the bantamweight (135-pound) championship to his existing flyweight (125-pound) title with a third-round TKO of Marlon Moraes at the main event at UFC 238 at United Center in Chicago Saturday night.
Cejudo now is the fourth fighter in the quarter-century history of UFC to hold two titles at once, joining Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier and Amanda Nunes.
Or, to ask the 32-year-old Cejudo, it's "champ-champ-champ."
"I am Triple-C," Cejudo said after winning his second MMA title at UFC 238. "Olympic champion, flyweight champion and now bantamweight champion. I am the greatest combat athlete of all time."
Cejudo's post-fight statement about the outcome would not have been what was expected, based on how things were going early in the match. Here's how USA Today opened its coverage of the Cejudo-Moraes bantamweight title bout:
"Just when it looked like Marlon Moraes may have found Henry Cejudo's Kryptonite, Cejudo turned the tide and made UFC history."
"Through the first round, Cejudo looked overmatched against Moraes," according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, hometown newspaper for the Colorado community where Cejudo went to high school and worked out at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. "The Brazilian packed more power in his punches and kept attacking Cejudo with sweeping leg kicks low toward a sprained ankle that limited his pre-fight training."
"Midway through the second round, Cejudo changed strategies and was no longer content to keep a distance and withstand the kicks," the Gazette continued. "He braved the power and took the fight to Moraes, and from there Cejudo took command."
In the third period, Cejudo unleashed a barrage of punches and elbows on a prone Moraes right in his opponent's corner. The Olympic gold medalist ultimately scored his TKO at 4:51 of the third round of the scheduled five-round bout for the bantamweight belt which had been vacated by T.J. Dillashaw who is now under a drug-related suspension.
Cejudo's win might be historic for yet another reason: it may have saved the flyweight weight class.
"Winning the vacant bantamweight crown seemingly cleared the way for Henry Cejudo to exit the flyweight division and pursue a title reign in a new division," according to Sherdog.com.
"Instead, Cejudo's victory over Marlon Moraes in the UFC 238 headliner may have saved an entire weight class."
As Sherdog.com asserted, "The demise of the flyweight division has been rumored for months, and the promotion has fueled that speculation by gradually trimming its roster of 125-pound talent."
After Cejudo's win, UFC president Dana White asserted that the flyweight weight class isn't going anywhere.
"Obviously him [Cejudo] winning had a lot to do with the division," White said in Saturday's post-fight press conference. "Did I say it's going away? Did I say it's leaving? I haven't even talked about that division in months. Yes, it is confirmed [it's staying]."
White went on to compliment Cejudo's performance.
"I'm blown away," White said. "This guy has heard it all, from 'Oh, you didn't really beat Demetrious,' 'It was a fluke when you knocked out T.J.' -- you can't deny the guy anymore. He's awesome.
"We'll sit down with him and figure out what he's talking about [for his next opponent] and what we'll do."
With the win, Cejudo -- who was welcomed into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member almost exactly one year ago -- not only owns two UFC titles, but is now 15-2 in a pro MMA career launched in March 2013. The 31-year-old Moraes drops to 21-6-1 in his 12 years in MMA.