Former UFC bantamweight title challenger Marlon Moraes is in dire need of a win ahead of his next outing. Paired up against the rising Song Yadong for a co-main event match at UFC Vegas 50, ‘Magic’ knows how crucial a win would be, to snap his current three-fight losing skid.
In an interview with Combate, Moraes acknowledged his opponent’s striking skills and youth as Song’s biggest assets. However, Marlon also believes that Yadong has never faced anybody quite like him, which could behoove the Brazilian when they meet on Saturday.
“I think it’s going to be the hardest fight of his career, especially because we have similar styles,” Moraes said. “He’s a striker who’s similar to me, but he hasn’t faced me yet. We’ll see how he reacts to that. Every other opponent he has faced were guys with good styles. Good wrestlers. I do think he might try to take me down, but that’s not his forte. I think that if he tries to change his strategy to do that, he’ll be making a big mistake.”
After losing all of his three previous outings, Moraes decided it could be time to try something different, In order to have a fresh start, Marlon went to Thailand, where he did most of the training camp for Yadong. In the Brazilian’s opinion, the decision was a rather welcome one.
“I think that this trip was all about a change of airs,” Moraes said. “To feel like a boy again, who’s just starting to live in a small apartment. I was living that, I’d go from the apartment to the gym. It’s a new start for me. I’m very satisfied with what I did. It was very productive and I’ll show it on Saturday night. I tried to give my career a fresh start. I did everything I could. I feel great and I’m sure you’ll be able to see that in the Octagon on Saturday.”
In his last three outings, Moraes (23-9) got knocked out by Merab Dvalshivili, Rob Font and Cory Sandhagen. The 33-year-old’s last victory took place in December 2019, when Magic scored a split decision win over former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
Now, Moraes is expected to take on Yadong at UFC Vegas 50, on March 12, at the UFC Apex. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight bout between rising contender Magomed Ankalaev and former title challenger Thiago Santos.