On November 3, 2013, at the first World Series of Fighting event, Marlon Moraes defeated former WEC champ Miguel Torres. Now the 24-year-old Brazilian — who sports a jiu-jitsu brown belt and two national Muay Thai championship belts — returns to action on March 23, and serves as the co-main event for WSOF 2. His opponent will be Tyson Nam, another surging young talent coming off a knockout victory over Bellator’s bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas. MMALinker caught up with Moraes to get a little insight on the rising star.
What did you think of the Miguel Torres fight?
“I thought the fight with Torres was a good fight I wanted to take care of Miguel’s takedowns to keep the fight standing and implement my striking game and take the fight to him. He was a big name and the star of the show and it was good to get that win.”
What is your gameplan coming into this fight with Tyson Nam?
“My gameplan is to go in there and fight MMA. Whether the fight is stand-up, ground, dirty boxing — I am ready for anywhere the fight goes.”
What holes do you see in Tyson’s game that you feel you can exploit?
“I think he’s a complete fighter. Today everybody’s training jiu-jitsu, wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai — it’s hard to point out his weakness. He’s going to be ready for the fight and so will I, and we’re going to go in there and give the MMA fans a great fight.”
If you are to get past Tyson, and the World Series of Fighting starts to include title fights and begins crowning champions, do you think it’s fair to say you deserve that first shot at the bantamweight title due to your recent success?
“I just want to fight. I want to fight the best fighters. Whether or not WSOF thinks I should fight for the belt doesn’t matter to me right now, I just want to keep fighting, working, training, because it’s what I love to do.”
What is your motivation, and how did you get started in the martial arts?
“When I first started to train I didn’t think about fighting to earn money, I just wanted to train because I liked to do it. I started when I was nine. Everybody was talking about it, so I got some videos of UFC 1 and 2. I had some friends around my neighborhood who invited me to come train jiu-jitsu so I did, but I focused more on Muay Thai. I started winning a lot of tournaments and became a national champion, then I started thinking about fighting MMA. Now my first motivation is to be a champion, help my family in Brazil, and help my training partners and team. “