5 Defining Moments: Marlon Moraes

By: Mark Raymundo
Feb 1, 2019

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Marlon Moraes is aching to settle the score with Raphael Assuncao. At UFC 212, the two top bantamweights engaged in a three-round war, with Assuncao getting his hand raised following a hotly contested split decision.

Currently, “Magic” is ranked No. 4 in his division and needs just one more impressive victory to challenge for the belt. In his way is a familiar foe in Assuncao. As Moraes prepares for their rematch at UFC Fight Night 144, take a look at some of the moments that have defined his career.

Upsetting Torres

Miguel Torres’ claim to elite status may have been tarnished by some key losses but the fact remains that he was still one of bantamweight’s finest when he met Moraes. The Brazilian, on the other hand, was a prospect looking to make a name in the United States. That night, the younger fighter proved to be faster and more accurate by landing the more telling blows. In the end, he took a split decision victory that could have easily been unanimous.

Capturing WSOF Gold

After defeating Torres, Moraes went on to win three more, earning the right to challenge Josh Rettinghouse for the inaugural World Series of Fighting bantamweight championship. It was a one-sided affair, with the Brazilian delivering a brutal beating on his opponent, who could barely stand in the third round because of some savage leg kicks. In the end, “Magic” was awarded the bantamweight title. He successfully defended it five times before getting signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Solid Kicks

Moraes systematically breaks his opponents down with some good punches and solid low kicks as evidenced by his wins over Rettinghouse, Tyson Nam and Carson Beebe. He’s also fond of countering his opponents with kicks and goes for the kill if the opportunity is ripe. In all, he has four wins via leg or head kick.

Evolving Standup

“Magic” has always had power in his strikes, but with striking coach Mark Henry looking after his standup game, his combinations have never looked sharper. He’s been able to put together kicks and punches effectively, which have led to knockouts on several occasions. At UFC Fight Night 123, he stopped an advancing Aljamain Sterling with a solid knee to the chin. He also caught Jimmie Rivera with a head kick and followed it up with punches to end the fight early in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 131 headliner.

Entering the Octagon

After a successful stint at the WSOF, Moraes vacated his belt to move to the UFC. While he lost in his promotional debut, the Brazilian got back in the win column with victories over John Dodson, Sterling and Rivera. “Magic” joined the UFC as a highly touted bantamweight that has lived up to the billing so far. Advertisement

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