Staying Busy and Keeping Momentum

MMA: UFC Fight Night-FortalezaThere has been a lot of pausing in the UFC over the last year with champions in multiple divisions moving on to become double champions.

The bantamweight division is one of them as this division has been held up for a long time as the championship has been figured out.

At first, it was the fact that a young champion who was expected to be the king for a long time was beaten by his rival.

The fact the Cody Garbrandt was such a strong young champion gave him an immediate rematch with TJ Dillashaw.

That rematch held the title up as no other fighter was able to take their shot while the rivalry played out.

Dillashaw took the title in 2017 and only defended the belt once in 2018 with both fights coming against Garbrandt.

There was nothing else happening in the division with fighters who were climbing unable to actually take their shot.

It has slowed the development and the decision made by Dillashaw after his defence slowed it down even more.

Dillashaw turned his attention to the flyweight division where he looked to become the fourth double champion and the first to do it by going down in weight.

Once again though his decision forced the rest of the division to sit back and wait to see what he was going to do.

It doesn’t seem to be close to being finished though as Dillashaw lost that flyweight title and was immediately challenged by flyweight champion Henry Cejudo for the bantamweight title.

With the UFC looking for the biggest fights and increasingly scheduling super fights they will likely go with that fight.

If they do that leaves an entire division at a standstill for almost two straight years making it tough for the fighters rising through the ranks.

As if things weren’t difficult enough for the fighters in the UFC having to extend that success through two years to get a shot is even tougher.

Two fighters rising through the ranks were faced with the challenge that ultimately comes with waiting for a shot.

Both Marlon Moraes and Raphael Assunção were on a path to the title as both had been able to put together great win streaks.

They could easily be in line for the title if Dillashaw had any interest in staying in the division and defending his title.

These fighters would usually put these streaks together and fight for the title but without a champion to fight they haven’t been able to reach that conclusion.

Instead, they are forced to continue fighting and risking a loss that would end their streak.

That concern is even bigger when they have to fight the better fighters in the division in order to continue their title run.

Both Moraes and Assunção were now forced to fight each other simply to stay active in the division.

Without this fight, they would lose their momentum and those title shots that were going to be on the way would be gone entirely.mma-sidebar.fw

This would also be a chance for either to prove that they are the better fighter after their first fight ended with a split decision win for Assunção.

With the title in limbo, they had to continue to stay active and both needed a win to show that they belonged in the hunt.

They would travel to Brazil where both had support from the home crowd and look for that rematch to leave no doubt.

Moraes took charge right away as he was able to land some major blows on the feet from the start.

After hurting Assunção the fight went to the ground where both had plenty of experience to end the fight.

It was there that Moraes was able to lock in a Guillotine Choke forcing Assunção to tap and giving Moraes the win.

It was a big one for Moraes who started his UFC career with a loss to Assunção and have now avenged that loss.

The win also puts him closer to that title shot that he has been looking for since he joined the UFC.

He will need to wait though as the UFC figures out what they want to do for the title as more divisions than ever are facing holdups with more fighters looking for bigger matchups.

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