Since losing his UFC debut against Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212 in June 2017, Marlon Moraes has so far built a three-fight win streak, including two Performance of the Night honors. Currently ranked number four at the UFC bantamweight division rankings, he is now gearing towards the possibility of fighting for the 135-pound title sometime soon.
“I’m getting prepared to be the UFC bantamweight champion,” Moraes said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “Who do the people want to watch, me against Cody, me against Dillashaw, or Raphael? Raphael fought Dillashaw. The fight wasn’t exciting.”
“I think the fans want to see me, even some fans want to see ‘let’s see if this guy’s really good, let’s test him’ and the fans want to see if he can win. So I think I am next.”
Assuncao, who is ranked at number three, defeated Moraes via a split decision verdict. Moraes, however, is still contesting the said decision, as he feels most observers “know” that it should have gone the other way.
“The fans know. The media knows. [People] who were watching the fight know,” Moraes said. “So, I don’t know.”
As for the upcoming rematch between current champion T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt at UFC 227 this August, Moraes has his inclinations. But at the same time, he believes the fight could go either way.
“I’ve got to be honest with you, I’ve been telling people I think T.J. is going to win,” he said. “But they’re both great fighters, two good fighters, high IQ, they’re good anywhere ... they can both win.”
Moraes (21-5-1, with 15 wins by stoppage) last fought early this month in Utica, New York, where he knocked out Jimmie Rivera within 33 seconds of action.