UFC Fight Night 144 results, highlights: Marlon Moraes makes quick work of Raphael Assuncao
The all-Brazilian main event from Fortaleza was short lived
By gaining redemption against Raphael Assuncao in the first round of Saturday's bantamweight rematch, Marlon Moraes sent quite a message in the direction of champion TJ Dillashaw.
Moraes (22-5-1), whose only defeat since 2011 came via disputed split decision to Assuncao in 2017, floored the veteran with a pair of power shots before producing the tap out at 3:17 of the opening round. The all-Brazilian main event headlined UFC Fight Night in Fortaleza.
"I'm the best in the division and you know who I deserve," Assuncao said of Dillashaw, who suffered a first-round knockout to flyweight champion Henry Cejudo in January. "Our champion went down a weight class but I'm ready.
"Hey TJ, I don't know if you deserve a fight with me after your last performance. I'm sorry, my friend. I may have to take somebody else and let you go down and hunt for the little boys."
Can't get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.
Moraes, a former World Series of Fighting champion, may have cemented himself as the rising star of the division by dominating Assuncao (27-6) from the start. Gone was the respect he showed in their first fight when Moraes was outworked by the 36-year-old Assuncao late.
After a series of low kicks early on meant to force Assuncao to drop his guard, Moraes landed a pair of devastating overhand rights -- one on the chin and the second on the left ear -- to hurt and then drop his opponent. Moraes took top position and reined down power shots to open a cut above Assuncao's left eye.
Moraes, who spoke after the fight about an illness that nearly caused him to pull out late, quickly transitioned to a guillotine to force the tap.
"You almost lost the main event. I had diarrhea all week bad," Moraes said. "I caught the mosquito here and it messed me up bad.
"It was a very tough week for me. I was really tested and it was really God that made me come here tonight."
The loss for Assuncano snaps a streak of 11 wins in 12 fights dating back to 2011. His only loss had come to Dillashaw in their 2016 rematch with the red-hot Assuncao hoping to secure a trilogy.
CBS Sports was with you for every punch, kick and submission attempt on Saturday with our live blog below. If you are having trouble viewing the blog, please click here.
UFC Fight Night 144 card/results
Marlon Moraes def. Raphael Assuncao via first-round submission (guillotine choke)
via second-round TKO (punches)
Demian Maia def. Lyman Good via first-round submission (standing rear-naked choke)
Charles Oliveira def. David Teymur via second-round submission (anaconda choke)
Johnny Walker def. Justin Ledet via first-round TKO (punches)
Livinha Souza def. Sarah Frota via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
UFC Fight Night 144 updates, highlights
Thanks for stopping by.
'The Big Ticket' is making some big noise in the heavyweight division
Hardy needed just 45 seconds to finish off his opponent in San Antonio on Saturday night
Kyle Marley won the first-ever 'ToutMaster' UFC betting contest
UFC heads to San Antonio this weekend for a welterweight showdown
Cerrone will be making his fourth appearance in the Octagon this year
DFS pro Mike McClure reveals his optimal DraftKings lineup for UFC on ESPN 4.