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Sergio Moraes says he ‘already earned’ top 15 spot, feels ‘confident’ ahead of UFC Wichita

Welterweight Sergio Moraes would like to become a ranked fighter should he defeat Anthony Rocco Martin at UFC Wichita.

One of the last surviving members of 2012’s The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 1, Sergio Moraes is headed to his twelfth Octagon appearance when meets fellow Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Anthony Rocco Martin at UFC Fight Night 146, in Wichita.

A decorated grappler, Moraes’ only loss in his last 10 fights aged quite well, given he was knocked out by the now new welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, back in September 2017. However, despite being on a two-fight winning streak and only losing to the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’, the 36-year-old still isn’t featured in the division’s rankings, which in his opinion, is something that should have happened by now.

“I believe I should be fighting ranked athletes. I also believe I should be in the top 15.” Moraes told Bloody Elbow. “My only loss is to Kamaru Usman, who just became the new champion. I finished Neil Magny, who is in the top 15. So I think I already earned a spot there, but I’ll think about this fight first, then I’ll worry about the rankings.”

Paired up against the unranked Martin, though, Sergio intends to make the best out of the situation and drive his point even further in order to score a spot among welterweight’s finest athletes. In his opinion, even though Anthony is also a seasoned grappler, Moraes does not believe his opponent will try and test his grounds skills on Saturday night.

“Surprises can happen in any fight, but I really doubt it that he wants to go to the ground with me. I don’t believe that is his gameplan. I’m ready for an opponent who will want to strike with me. I believe that’s his strategy, to use his boxing and his muay thai. He’ll try to capitalize on some of my takedowns, I believe that’s what he’ll do. I have been improving my game, but I feel confident to fight anywhere, Of course my jiu-jitsu still is my strong suit.”

In his last couple of outings, Sergio Moraes (14-3-1) edged out Tim Means via split decision in February of 2018 and then followed that win up with a submission victory over Ben Saunders back in September of the same year.

Now, Moraes he is expected to take on Anthony Rocco Martin at UFC Fight Night 146, in Wichita, Kansas, on March 9. The card will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between former champion Junior dos Santos and contender Derrick Lewis.

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