The smile of Marlon Moraes is so misleading it should be a crime. The fighter who often spends as much time smiling as he does fighting is routinely credited with being among the genuinely nice guys in the MMA world. However, once the cage door closes, the nice guy attitude is replaced by one of the most dominant bantamweights in MMA history. Get to know a little bit more about one of the faces of the WSOF prior to Moraes defending his WSOF bantamweight title once more in the promotion’s biggest event, WSOFNYC.
According to Sherdog, He’s The 3rd-Ranked Bantamweight In The World
Prior to the New York mega card the Brazilian declared, “the only person who doesn’t want me fighting Dominick Cruz is Dominick Cruz.” And Moraes has a point, considering he is not only the reigning WSOF champion, but also officially one of the top 135ers walking on the face of the earth.
Before MMA There Was Muay Thai
Moraes’ journey through the world of combat sports began incredibly early when he began Thai boxing at age seven and continued onto the art of BJJ at the age of 15. He eventually gained national success as a Thai boxer in Brazil and earned himself Muay Thai National Championships along the way before entering MMA.
He Tried his Luck In The MMA Reality TV Scene
Years prior to his dominant streak in WSOF, Moraes tried out for The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil but was denied. He stated that the UFC liked him as a fighter but not as a person. “I think I’m not cool enough to be there. You have to have big green hair, a beard, curse, smoke cigarettes and I’m not that guy”.
His Training Partners Are World-Class, Much Like Himself
Moraes is known for being one of the most dangerous, explosive and exciting bantamweights to ever grace MMA. On a daily, he is tested against some of the premier names of the sport like former lightweight champions Eddie Alvarez and Frankie Edgar out of Ricardo Almeida BJJ.
He Has A Knack For The Dramatic
It’s one thing to work your way to the top and capture a world title. It’s quite another to defend that title in the manner that Moraes has. The Brazilian has scored impressive finishes in all but one of his title defenses. 12 of Moraes’ 17 victories have come before the final bell, making Moraes one of the most dreaded bantamweights in the world.
He Is Undefeated In The Decagon, Since Day 1
The world first witnessed Moraes on the WSOF canvas at WSOF1 where he edged out former WEC champion Miguel Torres to a split decision. Four years later, he is decisively 10-0 in WSOF.
He Is Open To Competing In Other Weight Classes
What happens when you single-handedly destroy every contender in your path until more emerge? Consider other options. Although Moraes may not be considering an appearance at featherweight anytime soon, he tells WSOF that he is certainly interested in the idea were it to present itself: “I have definitely thought about it before…but you never know right. If it’s a good challenge and we get a good opponent I wouldn’t say no.”
His Promotional Records Are Unmatched And Impressive
As if maintaining a flawless promotional victory record isn’t enough, the bantamweight king is the only champion to have the most wins in a title fight (five), the most wins in promotional history (10) and the most consecutive title defenses in promotional history (4).
He’s A Passionate Brazilian Living The American Dream
Moraes came from humble beginnings in Brazil, but he is also very expressive about how thankful he is for the success he’s gained over the last two decades as well. “I came from a poor neighborhood in a poor country and now I have a family, kids and a house and I can provide to them. I am very thankful and this is one of the things that makes me work even harder. I want to keep going and I want other people to be able to do what I’ve done today.”
Two High-Level Belts Match His Arsenal
Remember at WSOF28 when Moraes practically chopped the legs of Joseph Barajas off to emerge with a TKO victory? That was a finish supported by the black belt in Muay Thai he holds, along with a championship caliber career in Thai boxing prior to his MMA days. Moraes is also a brown belt in BJJ proving how well rounded his arsenal really is.