World Series of Fighting has come a long way in a short time. With only three events under their belt, they have already secured a television deal and are snapping up some of the best talent around, both known and fresh faces. Among that fresh faced talent is a 25 year old hailing from Brazil named Marlon Moraes. He's been quietly rolling through his opponents, and late last year, put a stamp on his arrival with a big victory over former WEC superstar bantamweight, Miguel Torres. He went on shortly after that, to score a big, headkick knockout over Tyson Nam.
Now, he's slated to take on another tough guy, Brandon Hempleman, a relative unknown who's also been mowing down his competition. My co-host, Iain Kidd and I recently sat down with Moraes in a quick interview for MMA Sentinel and our readers here at Bloody Elbow. Moraes discussed his opponent, his finances, the importance of learning English and several other topics. Here's what he had to say:
Training with Frankie Edgar & Ricardo Almeida
I'm learning a lot. I'm getting a lot of advice from them, and I'm just really happy with my training camp, the guys I'm training with and everything.
When I was like 8 years old, I was at home watching Ricardo fighting in the UFC, fighting with a lot of tough guys, and beating guys. He was always bringing a show to the UFC. He's a great grappler and a great coach.
I'm working a lot on my boxing, wrestling and kickboxing. I think in mixed martial arts you've got to be ready wherever the fight goes. You can't just work on one area. At some point, somebody is going to take you down, or you won't be able to take them down, so you've got to be ready in all areas.
Edson has been my training partner since I was 9 years old. We have been together for 16 years. We are like brothers. He came to the US and started to train and fight here, then after a couple of years he brought me here, and helped me a lot.
He's a tough guy, a great training partner and a great friend. Hopefully the UFC give him a top 10 guy now, he's ready for the opportunity. I'm really happy at this point, because he's fighting in the UFC, I'm fighting in the World Series of Fighting and we are both improving our careers.
Choosing MMA Over Muay Thai
MMA is growing so fast, but not many people are watching kickboxing and Muay Thai anymore. I'm still hoping for some chance to fight in a kickboxing tournament in the future. I would like to fight the way some guys, like Tyrone Spong, do, and take some kickboxing fights outside of the organisation. If I had that chance, I would take it. I love to fight in kickboxing bouts.
I'm still fighting and teaching. It's hard, man. It's hard for us at the beginning of our career to just survive on purse money.
I'm trying to learn. I know it's very important to learn your culture. For me, it's a pleasure being in another country and learning a new culture. I went to school in Brazil, and I always loved to learn about history and stuff. Here in America, I'm trying to do my best, because I'm in your country, I've got to learn to speak your language.
It's more emotional after the fights to hear from us [instead of translators]. Fans want to hear from us, they want to know what we are feeling after the fight, because sometimes when it comes from another person, it doesn't sound quite the same.
DD: Have you learned the curse words yet?
[Laughs] No, no ... Only a little bit. Frankie Edgar and all those guys are teaching me a little bit. [Laughs again]
Upcoming Fight Against Brandon Hempleman
I feel good, everything went awesome in this training camp, and I can't wait until August 10th. I work as hard as possible, and I want to go out there and give my best, for myself. I want to fight for myself, you know?
My opponent is a great fighter, he's beat a lot of tough guys. He's on a roll, and his record is good. I don't choose my fights. Whoever they want me to fight, I'm going to say yes. I'm going to fight. It doesn't matter against who. I'm going to train hard, go out there, and give my best.
You can follow Marlon via his Twitter account, @MMARLONMORAES