Marlon Moraes explains why he ultimately decided to sign with the UFC

By Newsroom on April 25, 2017
  • After several months of free agency, top-rated bantamweight Marlon Moraes finally inked a multi-fight deal with the UFC just recently, booking his first fight for June 3 in his native country of Brazil.

    Moraes isn’t viewed as just any free-agent signing but a major acquisition after he ran roughshod over the 135-pound division in World Series of Fighting, winning 11 consecutive bouts in the promotion including five title defenses as champion.

    It was a long process to finally get his deal done, but Moraes says he couldn’t be any happier with the contract he signed and now he has the opportunity to prove he’s the best in the world while competing in the deepest bantamweight division in the sport.

    “It was good you know. It was a very good deal. I’m very happy how the UFC’s taking care of me,” Moraes told the Fight Society podcast this week. “I’m very happy that the hard work Ali [Abdel-Aziz] put on and I trust him.

    “That’s the main thing. I want to go out there and I want to fight with the best and I want to show to all the world that I belong there.”

    As excited as Moraes was to join the UFC roster, he wanted to make it clear that this wasn’t just about signing with the biggest mixed martial arts organization in the world.

    Instead, Moraes insists that signing with the UFC is just the first step towards his real goal, which is eventually toppling the champion at 135 pounds and becoming the king of the bantamweights once again.

    “Since day one my head coach Mark [Henry] and Ricardo [Almeida], we always talked, and I’m not going to the UFC to be in the UFC,” Moraes said. “If it’s just that, I wasn’t going there. My goal is to go there and to get the belt.

    “I don’t want to pick opponents. I don’t want to say I want to do one fight and fight for the title. I want to fight and I want to fight and whenever they think I deserve [the title shot], this is my goal. My goal is the title.”

    Despite just joining the UFC roster, Moraes wasn’t looking for an easy matchup in his first fight to knock loose the infamous Octagon jitters that have ruined more than a few highly touted debuts in the past.

    Moraes wanted to face an elite opponent and his wish was granted when the UFC matched him up against No. 3 ranked bantamweight Raphael Assauncao.

    Assuncao currently holds an 8-1 record as a bantamweight in the UFC, including wins over Aljamain Sterling and Bryan Caraway. Moraes knows this is a tough test but this is exactly what he wanted when signing with the UFC.

    For the first time in over three years, Moraes will walk into a fight without a title around his waist and likely sitting as the underdog according to the odds makers.

    Not only does Moraes not mind that role, he actually embraces it because he’s going from the hunted to the hunter and he’s more than ready to prove himself all over again.

    “I need this. I need to be thirsty. I need water. To be hunting for that belt, this is what I need,” Moraes said. “At World Series [of Fighting], I was very happy, I had great fights and I was doing what I love but I need that feeling.

    “I want to hunt. I want to go after it. I’m very hungry. I can’t wait.”

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