One round in to the UFC 238 main event, Henry Cejudo looked as though he’d bitten off more than he could chew. “The Messenger” looked message-less, limping back to his corner with a look approaching bewilderment after spending five minutes eating murderous leg kicks and boxing combos served up by Marlon Moraes. He was being busted up at range, courtesy of the Brazilian’s three-inch reach advantage, and every time he managed to fire-off some offense of his own, “Magic” was countering with power that can only be described as scary.
But Cejudo overcame one of the most one-sided first rounds of a championship fight in recent memory, throwing out the game plan on the stool and adopting a new one on the fly. It consisted of jumping straight into the fire, loading up on his punches and applying constant pressure, taking precarious risks in the hope of disrupting the flow of Moraes and forcing him to fight off the back foot. Cejudo had the No. 1-ranked bantamweight on skates by the end of the second round after a massive flurry of knees, compelling Moraes to shoot on the Olympic gold medalist to avoid the damage he was taking on the feet. In the third stanza, Cejudo broke him.
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