While many have been concerned about the longterm health and well-being of Marlon Moraes, the former World Series of Fighting champion and one-time UFC title challenger believes moving up a weight class will alleviate those worries.
Moraes competes in a featherweight bout against Sheymon Moraes at the 2022 PFL World Championship event on Friday in New York City. “Magic” ended a brief retirement to sign with the promotion following his fourth straight stoppage loss in a UFC Vegas 50 bout against Song Yadong.
Despite being finished in five of six appearances, Moraes is not concerned with his health. He believes not having to cut a significant amount of weight will make a huge difference.
“No, man, not [concerned] about the health,” Moraes said on The MMA Hour. “I just think at 145, I’m healthier. I’m not killing myself cutting weight, I was sucking myself too much. I was doing things I didn’t even realize — like sauna every day, getting myself down in weight, and [I] still needed to get down more. It’s hard to manage how many pounds is healthy to cut.”
Moraes now understands the amount of damage done to his body and mind cutting to the bantamweight limit. The 34-year-old said that, as of Wednesday, he only has six pounds to cut to make featherweight. He won’t need a sauna, jacuzzi, or anything out of the ordinary to get there.
“Just training, thinking [about] fighting, being smart, and I still have my brain,” Moraes said. “Two weeks from the [bantamweight] fights, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t defend, because the reflexes are slower. Now, I feel the same.”
Prior to the loss to Yadong, Moraes’ final UFC stretch ended with knockout losses to Merab Dvalishvili, Rob Font, and Cory Sandhagen, bringing concern from fans about the damage the Brazilian has accumulated over the years.
Ahead of his second matchup with Moraes, the 34-fight veteran feels ready to prove the doubters wrong on Friday.
“I know I have to get back with my fighting, my brain has got to be in there,” he explained. “I kind of let it slip a little bit, and I lost the momentum.
“This next fight, I’m not saying I have the pressure on me to do that, but I have to be smarter. I have to let it go, use the momentum, and I have to dominate. If I’m dominant, I won’t be exposed. I made too [many] mistakes I wasn’t making before, and my timing is back, I feel that training, and I feel as strong as any 145er in the gym.
“I’m challenging myself every day, and I can’t wait to compete and just taste that [145-pound] competition. I think I’m going to be that much better.”