WSOF 9: Marlon Moraes Eager to Showcase Latest Improvements, Promotion’s Ali Abdelaziz Says Fighter “Best 135’er in the World”
By Kelsey Mowatt
There’s little question that in the brief history of World Series of Fighting, one of the promotion’s most compelling storylines has been the rise of Marlon Moraes. Not only has Moraes scored four consecutive wins with WSOF, but he’s done so in such impressive fashion, some observers believe he’s among the planet’s best 135’ers. As a result, the promotion has booked Moraes to battle Josh Rettinghouse for its inaugural, bantamweight title on March 29th.
“I’m happy with the opportunity you know?” Moraes relayed on a recent media call to promote his WSOF 9 tilt. “I respect everybody and they gave me the chance now, and now it’s time to go there and do the best.”
“Go out there, show what I’ve been improving, what I’ve been working,” added the 25 year-old fighter. “I can’t wait.”
Since Moraes arrived in the WSOF in 2012, the Brazilian has gone on to defeat Miguel Torres, Tyson Nam, Brandon Hempleman and most recently Carson Beebe. The victories have extended his winning streak to six and left his overall record at 12-4-1. Moraes’ stoppage wins over Nam and most recently Beebe in particular, were what left fans and pundits buzzing about his abilities.
“I knew Marlon even before he fought for World Series of Fighting,” the promotion’s Executive Vice President Ali Abdelaziz said about Moraes on the aforementioned call. “I believe Marlon is the best 135’er in the world. I believe he can beat anybody in any organization. The kid is young, he’s growing, he’s so talented and he can wrestle. He’s got a good ground game and he’s one of the best strikers in the sport.”
Moraes’ stand-up abilities are so developed in fact, that there was a time when the bantamweight reportedly considered abandoning MMA to focus on a career in kickboxing. Based off what Moraes has showcased in recent years, however, his decision to stick with MMA has clearly paid off.
“It was hard you know? In the beginning I had a hard time to find myself inside the cage, because it’s a different sport” Moraes said, while discussing his transition from Muay Thai to MMA. “As I moved to the United States I started to train with a lot of guys and different styles of fighters, wrestlers, jiu-jitsu guys and now I’m training with Frankie Edgar here in New Jersey, and Mark Henry, Ricardo Almeida, they’re showing me the way that you can use that inside a MMA fight.”
“I’m fitting in really good and I’ve been training hard every day,” added Moraes, while talking about his preparation for Rettinghouse (10-2), who has won three straight bouts and is coming off a win over Alexis Vila. “It is what it is you know, and March 29th I’ll give my best, and Josh will give his best and I can tell you guys it’s going to be a great fight.”
WSOF 9 will be hosted by the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the main card will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.