Last week, UFC bantamweight champion T.J Dillashaw relinquished his title after an adverse finding was found in one of his drug tests. Now, top contender Pedro Munhoz has his eyes on the vacant title.
Munhoz (18-3, 1NC) leapfrogged into the upper echelon at 135-pounds with a knockout win over former champion Cody Garbrandt at the beginning of March. “The Young Punisher” picked up consecutive wins against Bryan Caraway and Brett Johns before his recent KO win.
Talking recently to MMAjunkie, Munhoz discussed Dillashaw’s recent drug test failure, and what it means for the future of the bantamweight division.
“It’s unfortunate for Dillashaw,” Munhoz said. “But it’s fortunate for the rest of us, since he was probably going to rematch (Henry) Cejudo, holding out the bantamweight division yet again. Now, I think that since T.J. relinquished the belt, we can forget about the rivalry with Cejudo and let the bantamweights move forward.”
The 32-year-old outlined there is only three real contenders for the vacant bantamweight title, himself, Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling. Describing Sterling as ‘boring’, Munhoz hopes the UFC books a title fight between him and Moraes due to their exciting styles and finishing rates in the Octagon.
“Aljamain is tough, but he’s a bit boring,” Munhoz said. “Most of his fights are won by points. He never engages toe-to-toe. I think if I face Marlon, the fans will get two aggressive fights with a crowd-pleasing style. We both look to knock out or submit.
“Marlon was probably going to face T.J. if the Cejudo fight didn’t happen first,” he said. “Now, I think the UFC should let actual bantamweights fight for the vacant belt. That would be Marlon and me.”
Unfortunately for Munhoz, it looks as if the UFC is looking to have Henry Cejudo move up from flyweight to challenge Moraes for the vacant title.