Ex-UFC Title Challenger Marlon Moraes Confirms Retirement From Active Competition

Marlon Moraes
Mandatory Credit: Josh Hedges - Zuffa LLC

Former WSOF (World Series of Fighting) bantamweight kingpin, and one-time UFC title challenger, Marlon Moraes has retired from active competition – spelling an end to a decorated 15-year professional mixed martial arts career.

Marlon Moraes, a native of Nova Friburgo occupied the #14 rank in the official bantamweight pile at the time of his retirement – most recentl suffering a heavy first round knockout loss against Song Yadong on the main card of UFC Vegas 50 back in March. The defeat came as Moraes’ fourth consecutively. 

Moraes’ manager, Ali Abdelaziz confirmed his client this Wednesday evening along with a statement from the Brazilian to The Underground reporter, John Morgan.

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“I want to thank everyone – Sean Shelby, Dana White and the UFC for giving me so many opportunities,” Marlon Moraes wrote. “I want to thank my family, my coaches, my manager, everybody who has been around and been part of my career. I’m still gonna be around the sport helping young guys and helping my friends. I also want to say thank you to Mark Henry, Ricardo Almeida, Frankie Edgar, and Anderson França.”

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Retiring from professional mixed martial arts boasting a 23-10-1 professional record, Moraes, 33, who plys his trade at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida – managed to clinch the now-defunct WSOF bantamweight title with a 2014 win over Josh Rettinghouse, before landing a total five successful defenses of the promotion’s title. 

Marlon Moraes entered the UFC off the back of a stunning 13-fight undefeated run

In his UFC debut back in June 2017 in his native Brazil, Moraes would suffer a close, contentious split decision loss to compatriot, Raphael Assuncao – before embarking on a four-fight winning streak – defeating John Dodson, Jimmie Rivera, the aforenoted, Assuncao – and scored a highlight-reel knockout win over current champion, Aljamain Sterling.

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Once challenging for undisputed bantamweight gold, Moraes unsuccessfully landed the vacant crown during a battle against then-flyweight best, Henry Cejudo – who rallied from a one-sided opening affair to stop Moraes with a third round barrage and become a two-weight champion.

In his most recent professional victory, Moraes defeated former featherweight champion and fellow Brazilian striker, Jose Aldo, with a split decision at UFC 245 in December 2019.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.