Dana’s Plan: Cejudo vs. Moraes, Formiga vs. Benavidez II:

(Frank Franklin II/AP)
Henry Cejudo may have the opportunity to claim ‘champ champ’ status after all.

UFC President Dana White has outlined the promotion’s plan to restore some order to the current headache that is the UFC Bantamweight division after T.J. Dillashaw was flagged by USADA.

While not a foolproof plan, White believes current Flyweight champion Henry Cejudo will meet Brazil’s ‘Magic’ Marlon Moraes for the vacant title later this year, while UFC Fight Night Nashville winner Jussier Formiga is expected to rematch two time title chaser Joseph Benavidez in a #1 contender bout for a shot at the Flyweight title. 

This leaves two top tier grapplers in precarious positions; What next for Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz? Both men have had big wins recently with the ‘Funk Master’ dislodging Jimmie Rivera from championship contention, while Sao Paulo’s Munhoz finished former gold holder Cody Garbrandt in the opening round at UFC 235. Both men are certainly deserved of a spot in the vacant title clash but it seems they will be overlooked. Similar to the potential landscape a division lower at Flyweight between former foes Formiga and Benavidez, a title eliminator is the most likely outcome for the pair. 

Speaking after UFC Fight Night Nashville, Dana provided some ‘clarity’ to the situation at both 135lbs and 125lbs; “I now have a plan, I didn’t have a plan before but now I do. You know it looks like we’re going to do the Moraes vs. Cejudo fight. They both want that fight really bad. It seems like a good fight to make with the whole Dillashaw thing now. Then you do Formiga vs. Benavidez on the same card and then if anything goes wrong one of them can step up and take the fight. Then the winner of that fight (Formiga vs. Benavidez II) is the guaranteed number one contender and gets to fight for the title in their next fight.” 

Brazilian grappler Jussier Formiga handed the heavy hitting Deiveson Figeuiredo his premier career defeat last night in a unanimous decision display, retaining his #1 rank at Flyweight in the process, but it now seems he must avenge an earlier stoppage loss to Joseph Benavidez to be afforded his first, and well overdue title tilt in the ever dwindling Flyweight division. Speaking with the Natal native last week, he was adamant that a victory over Deiveson would finally see him granted a championship rematch with Cejudo, this latest revelation puts a dampener on that idea.

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