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."
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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.
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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
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