Marlon Moraes
Magic

Brazil

Targeted to face Sandhagen
BantamweightUFC
August 6, 2020
Moraes is being targeted for a bantamweight matchup against Cory Sandhagen in the main event of a card scheduled for October 10, Raphael Marinho of Combate reports.
ANALYSIS
Moraes is coming off a narrow, controversial victory against Jose Aldo, though he was passed up for a recent title shot in favor of Aldo after UFC brass apparently didn't think he did enough to win the fight. He was scheduled for a fight in June, but tested positive for COVID-19 in July. After 10 months on the sidelines, however, the UFC is hoping to pin him against a top prospect in Sandhagen who is coming off his first UFC loss to Aljamain Sterling last June. Sandhagen has just about every statistical advantage in this hypothetical matchup, though keep in mind the sample size is much smaller and the caliber of competition pales in comparison. Physically, Moraes will be giving up three inches in reach and five inches in height. Nonetheless, expect opening odds for this one to be close.
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Tests positive for COVID-19
BantamweightUFC
July 14, 2020
Moraes and his wife have both tested positive for COVID-19, Gustavo Faldon of ESPN Brazil reports.
ANALYSIS
Moraes is one of the top contenders in the bantamweight division, which happens to have a new champion following Petr Yan's victory over Jose Aldo at UFC 251 this past Saturday. While Moraes has been trying to make a case for a title shot -- one he might have considering he defeated Aldo in his last fight -- it appears he'll now instead need some time on the sidelines. This should allow the UFC to put on a highly-anticipated title fight between Yan and Aljamain Sterling, with Moraes potentially waiting in the wings for the winner. Should Moraes not be offered a title shot, a matchup against Cody Garbrandt would also seemingly be a possibility.
Loses bout with Yan
BantamweightUFC
May 28, 2020
Moraes appears to no longer be facing Petr Yan on June 13, as Dana White announced via SportsCenter on Wednesday that the company is hoping to pin Yan against Jose Aldo for the vacant bantamweight title.
ANALYSIS
It's a tough break for Moraes, who was lined up to face Yan in the main event of a card in Kazakhstan prior to the onset of a global pandemic. The news is even more difficult considering Moraes defeated Jose Aldo in his last fight, even if it was a narrow decision that could have gone the other way. Nonetheless, Aldo brings more eyeballs to the table, so the UFC will go that direction instead. It's unclear if Moraes will accept another fight, or simply wait on the sidelines for another title opportunity. The UFC does have a matchup between Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen scheduled for UFC 250 on June 6, however, so Moraes will need to make his case for a title shot over whoever emerges victorious in that bout.
Expected to fight Petr Yan
BantamweightUFC
March 4, 2020
Moraes is expected to fight Petr Yan at UFC Kazakhstan on June 13, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Moraes has won five of his last six fights, his lone loss in that stretch was a fourth-round TKO loss to Henry Cejudo last June. Moraes' last fight came against Jose Aldo in December.
Barely sneaks by Jose Aldo
BantamweightUFC
December 14, 2019
Moraes defeated Jose Aldo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) at UFC 245 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Moraes appeared shocked by the decision. It marked the second straight fight in which Moraes started quickly before fading. It wasn't the massive adrenaline dump that Moraes experienced in his loss to Henry Cejudo in June, but it's quite clear that Moraes' best moments of the fight came in the very early going. His most significant strike -- a switch kick -- came about seven seconds in. Moraes shockingly allowed Aldo to continuously push forward and didn't even attempt at any point to retake the center of the octagon. Moraes got the win he was seeking but it's not as if he saw his stock rise with this performance. Given what we saw from Moraes on Saturday, Petr Yan, who defeated Urijah Faber earlier in the night, would appear to be ahead of him in the race to challenge Cejudo for the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
Gets matchup with Aldo
BantamweightUFC
October 23, 2019
Moraes will take on Jose Aldo in a bantamweight matchup at UFC 245 on Dec. 14, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
After coming up short in a title opportunity against Henry Cejudo, Moraes will continue to test himself, this time going up against one of the greatest UFC fighters of all-time. Aldo will be moving down from the featherweight division and likely has a tough weight cut ahead, but if he makes it to the Octagon, this fight will serve as a superb addition to a card already containing three title fights. The winner here has an immediate claim to Henry Cejudo's belt, though top propsect Petr Yan -- who is fighting earlier on the card -- may have something to say about that. Matchup-wise, Aldo is the better offensive and defensive striker on paper. He also has better marks in takedown average and takedown defense, just in case wrestling becomes a factor in this fight. Moraes has youth on his side, while Aldo has a major experience edge. Because Aldo is moving down a weight class, it's not too surprising to see him enter with one-inch height and three-inch reach advantages.