UFC bantamweight title contender Marlon Moraes was doing well during the opening round of his title fight against Henry Cejudo on Saturday at UFC 238. But once “The Messenger” switched up his strategy, Moraes seemed to have lost all answers to the attacks.
During his post-fight media scrum, the 31-year-old Brazilian admitted to veering away from the game plan, which he feels was one of the major reasons for his loss.
“I just messed up. I got out of the game plan, and that’s what happened,” he said (transcript via MMA Junkie). “I just did what I shouldn’t do.
“In the fight, he hit me, I hit him back, and we started to brawl a little bit. That was one of the biggest things on the game plan from my coaches – don’t brawl, you’re faster. Just throw the combinations and don’t overload the punches.
“(But) that’s what I did, and I paid for it,” he added.
Moraes ended up losing via third-round TKO, after being in the receiving end of Cejudo’s punches from up top. While the fight was stopped with less than ten seconds left, he says he has no qualms about referee Marc Goddard’s decision.
“Man, I couldn’t defend myself well, but I think I was just tired,” Moraes admitted. “(Goddard) took care of me. I think (after) a couple more seconds, I could get back for the fourth round.
“But it was my fault. I have nothing (bad) to say about the referee.”
Moraes was on a four-fight win streak entering UFC 238, as he now drops to a win-loss slate of 22-6-1 (with 16 wins by stoppage).