While many have been concerned about Marlon Moraes’ long-term health and well-being, the former World Series of Fighting Champion and one-time UFC title contender believes moving up in the weight class will ease those concerns.
Moraes competes in the featherweight division against Sheimon Moraes at the 2022 PFL World Championship on Friday in New York. The Magic ended a short hiatus to sign with the promotion following his fourth consecutive loss at UFC Vegas 50 against Song Yadong.
Despite finishing five of his six matches, Moraes is not worried about his health. He believes that not having to lose significant weight will make a huge difference.
“No man, don’t [concerned] about health,” Moraes said on Hour of MMA. “I just think I’m healthier at 145 pounds. I’m not killing myself with weight loss, I sucked myself too much. I did things that I didn’t even know I was going to the sauna every day, losing weight and [I] I still had to go down. It is difficult to manage how many kilograms you can lose without harm to health.
Moraes now understands the damage done to his body and mind, trimmed to the bantamweight limit. The 34-year-old said he only needs to lose six pounds as of Wednesday to become a featherweight. He won’t need a sauna, hot tub or anything out of the ordinary to get there.
“I’m just practicing, I think [about] fight, be smart, and I still have brains,” Moraes said. “Two weeks after [bantamweight] fights, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t defend myself because my reflexes are slower. Now I feel the same.”
Before the loss to Yadong, Moraes’ final UFC stretch ended with knockouts to Merab Dvalishvili, Rob Font and Corey Sandhagen, raising fans’ concerns about the damage the Brazilian had accumulated over the years.
Ahead of his second fight with Moraes, the 34-fight veteran feels ready to prove the doubters wrong on Friday.
“I know I have to get back to my fights, my brain has to be there,” he explained. “I kind of missed it a bit and I lost momentum.
“In the next fight, I’m not saying I’m being pressured to do it, but I have to be smarter. I have to let go of the situation, use momentum and dominate. If I dominate, I won’t be exposed. i did too [many] mistakes I didn’t make before and my timing is back, I feel this workout and I feel as strong as any 145m in the gym.
“I challenge myself every day and I can’t wait to compete and just try it. [145-pound] competition. I think I’ll be a lot better.”