Following a 2015 during which he fought twice, World Series of Fighting bantamweight king Marlon Moraes is willing to change weight classes in order to have a more active 2016 campaign.
Moraes defends his 135-pound title against Joseph Barajas in the WSOF 28 headliner on Saturday at Next Level Sports Complex in Garden Grove, Calif. The evening’s main card airs on NBC Sports Network at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.
The Floridian would like to follow the blueprint provided by the UFC’s Donald Cerrone, who has one of the most frequent fighting itineraries in the sport today. Thus far, Moraes has never fought more than three times in a calendar year for WSOF.
“My dream is to fight five times a year, six,” Moraes told Sherdog.com. “I’m a guy like Cowboy. I’m a big fan of those guys. I don’t pick fights; I want to fight. If they want to see me at , if want to see me at  for short notice, I can fight. I’m a guy that the organization wants to have. I’m training all year. I need two to three weeks to be ready. My dream is to fight five times this year, but I’ll be very happy with four.”
Moraes believes that his 5-foot-6 frame can handle more muscle mass, which could make for some intriguing results in the cage should he move up a division. Moraes owns two victories via knockout in WSOF competition, a head kick finish of Tyson Nam at the promotion’s second event and a 32-second stoppage of Carson Beebe at WSOF 6.
“I make weight really easy at 35. If the opportunity is there [to move up] and if they need me, they know my number. I don’t think weights matter,” he said. “I think what matters is if you’re ready or not, and I see myself matching up very well against bigger guys. I bring different things to the table. It would be awesome to see myself with a little bit more weight, a little bit more knockout power.”
Since upsetting ex-WEC champ Miguel Torres in his promotional debut, Moraes has gradually established himself as one of the organization’s signature stars. He has rarely been tested during his reign as 135-pound champ, but that doesn’t mean the Ricardo Almeida Jiu-Jitsu representative is planning a Conor McGregor-esque run at titles in multiple divisions. Alexandre Almeida and Justin Gaethje are safe -- for now.
“It’s not like that. I know my spot. I’m the 135 champion. I’m not targeting the  champ. I’m not targeting the  champ. I’m not talking about them,” Moraes said. “I have a lot of respect for the champions. I know how hard they work. But it’s a possibility. If the opportunity comes to me I’m gonna take it. I’m gonna fight. I can fight at any division. I feel like I can fight 35, 45, and 55.”