Marlon Moraes Coming Out of Retirement with Multi-Fight PFL Deal

Marlon Moraes is making a comeback…

The 34-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and former UFC bantamweight title challenger  has decided to come out of retirement, and will do so under a new multi-fight deal with Professional Fighters League (PFL).Marlon Moraes In addition to the new deal, Moraes (23-10-1) has agreed to a featherweight matchup against Shane Burgos (15-3) on the promotion’s tournament finals card later this year.

Multiple sources told ESPN contracts haven’t been signed for the bout, but verbal agreements are in place.

The PFL has not announced an official date or location for the event, although it is expected to take place in November.

Moraes walked away from the sport earlier this year following a four-fight skid in the Octagon, but figures to be a prominent new face in the PFL’s season format. He’s actually returning to his former home, in a sense. Moraes was a 135-pound champion at World Series of Fighting, which was rebranded into the PFL in 2017.

Originally from Brazil and now fighting out of Florida, Moraes came within one win of becoming a UFC champion in June 2019, when he came up short in a vacant title bid against challenger Henry Cejudo. He went on to drop four of his next five, although he was fighting the very best of his weight class in the likes of Song YadongMerab DvalishviliRob Font and Cory Sandhagen.

Burgos, of New York, also signed a new deal with PFL this year. The 31-year-old fought exclusively in the UFC from 2106 to 2022. He has fought some of the top names of the division during his career. Following his signing with PFL, UFC president Dana White went so far as to admit the promotion made an error in not keeping Burgos on its roster.

Jose Aldo Defeats Rob Font Via Unanimous Decision to Keep Bantamweight Title Hopes Alive

Jose Aldo continues his quest for a title in a new division.

The 35-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist, arguably the greatest featherweight of all time with a résumé good enough to put him on the short list of the best MMA fighters ever, defeated the up-and-coming Rob Font via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Jose Aldo,Aldo rocked Font several times with right hands, hurt his legs with hard kicks and damaged him with hooks to the body. He looked like the Aldo of old while also mixing in some new wrinkles as a bantamweight, such as superior grappling.

“I want to be a champion in this division, and I’m working toward that,” Aldo said through an interpreter in his post-fight interview. “Nobody is gonna stop me.”

Coming in, ESPN had Font ranked No. 5 and Aldo No. 6 in the world at 135 pounds. Aldo said afterward he’d like a title shot next, but the situation is a bit messy.

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has been out since March following neck surgery and is likely to face Petr Yan, the former champion and current interim titleholder, to unify the titles. Yan lost the title to Sterling when he was disqualified for an illegal knee at UFC 259 on March 6.

In lieu of a chance at the title, Aldo had another proposition: former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, who beat Cory Sandhagen over the summer in his return from a two-year doping suspension. Dillashaw is currently recovering from knee surgery.

“Dillashaw is right there,” Aldo said. “Let me fight Dillashaw.”

The fight Saturday was a story of volume versus power. Font had a lot of success with his boxing, especially early on and with his jab. But Aldo was mostly unfazed by the blows. Meanwhile, Aldo rocked or dropped Font in every round except for the third. Font had moments but never hurt Aldo the way Aldo hurt him.

Aldo nearly finished Font in the fourth and fifth rounds. The fifth was the closest. Font knew he was down on the cards and was coming forward looking for a stoppage victory. But Aldo lit him up with a right cross and dropped him. Aldo followed with shots on the ground, took Font’s back and nearly had a choke locked in. Font, though, survived until the bell.

Aldo’s two takedowns were the first ones of his five-fight bantamweight run in UFC, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“I’m gonna be standing up, I’m gonna be going to the ground,” Aldo said. “I want to be all-around. This is the new Aldo you see.”

Aldo (31-7) held the UFC/WEC featherweight title for parts of six years (2009-15), including seven title defenses, a record in that division. The Brazil native moved down to bantamweight in 2019. He lost his first two fights there, including a vacant title bout against Yan. But Aldo has won three straight and looked very good in wins over contenders Pedro Munhoz and Marlon “Chito” Vera before Saturday.

This is Aldo’s first three-fight winning streak since his 18-fight winning streak was broken in 2015 by Conor McGregor. He cashed as a +125 underdog Saturday, marking just the seventh time he was an underdog in his UFC career.

Font (19-5) had a four-fight winning streak snapped. Most recently before Saturday, he took home a unanimous-decision win over former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. The Massachusetts native had not lost since 2018. Font, 34, sports a 9-4 UFC record and looked better than ever since returning from knee surgery last year.

“The guy is a legend,” Font said of Aldo. “He’s tough, man. I feel like I can beat him, but it just wasn’t my night. Hats off to him. … I just went five rounds with one of the legends of the sport. I’m gonna get better off this, for sure.”

Marlon “Chito” Vera to Fight Frankie Edgar for UFC 268 in November

Marlon “Chito” Vera may be returning to the Octagon this fall…

The UFC is targeting a bantamweight matchup between the 28-year-old Ecuadorian mixed martial artist and Frankie Edgar for UFC 268 on November 6, according to ESPN.

Marlon “Chito” Rivera

Contracts haven’t been signed, but both sides have verbally agreed to the matchup. The pay-per-view event is expected to take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Vera (19-7-1) is riding some momentum, coming off a decision win over Davey Grant in June. He is 2-1 in his past three, including wins over Grant and Sean O’Malley. His loss in that stretch was to former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. He is 7-2 over his past nine.

A former lightweight champion, Edgar (24-9) is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Cory Sandhagen in February. A longtime lightweight and featherweight, Edgar has now competed in the UFC’s 135-pound division twice. He is 1-1, with a five-round decision win over Pedro Munhoz in August.

Edgar, 39, fights out of Toms River, New Jersey. This will mark his first fight in New York since 2016 and only the third overall of his storied career.

A welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington is slated to headline the UFC 268 event.

Marina Rodriguez Defeats Michelle Waterson By Unanimous Decision

And the wins keep on coming for Marina Rodriguez.

The 34-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist defeated Michelle Waterson, using her Muay Thai striking effectively en route to a unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) win in the UFC Fight Night main event on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Marina Rodriguez

It was one of the best career performances for Rodriguez, who didn’t arrive in Las Vegas until Thursday, two days later than every other fighter on the card.

Rodriguez had struggles getting a visa into the United States because of COVID-19 and spent 20 hours in travel over Wednesday and Thursday morning.

But in the end, none of that ended up mattering.

“There were so many challenges, but the big thing was just armoring my mind,” Rodriguez said after the fight through a translator. “The whole team put our shields up. We knew it would be different and we couldn’t be shaken by it.”

The initially scheduled main event Saturday was former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw taking on top contender Cory Sandhagen. But Dillashaw withdrew last week because of injury. That bout will be rebooked.

Rodriguez and Waterson didn’t agree to this bout — up a division at flyweight because of the timing — until April 27, and the UFC didn’t make it official until this past Tuesday.

The first three rounds featured Rodriguez chewing Waterson up with big right hands, knees out of a Thai clinch and elbows with Waterson against the cage. As hard as Rodriguez tried, though, she could not get the durable Waterson out of there. And Waterson mounted a huge comeback in the fourth round.

Waterson took Rodriguez down in the fourth and landed big elbows from half guard. In the fifth round, Waterson landed a head kick that wobbled Rodriguez and caused bad swelling on the left of her jaw. Waterson followed that up with a side kick to the body that clearly hurt Rodriguez. In that final, eventful round, Rodriguez was able to score a head kick late that did damage to Waterson.

Coming in, ESPN had Rodriguez ranked No. 6 in the world at strawweight and Waterson ranked No. 9. Rodriguez said the key factor about overcoming her prefight travel chaos “was we were able to come in, show the work we did and get the victory even with everything going against us.”

Rodriguez added that she aims to target a top-three opponent — maybe Joanna Jedrzejczyk — for her next fight and said she feels like she is close to a title shot.

The bout took place with COVID-19 protocols in effect at the UFC Apex, the facility across the street from the promotion’s corporate campus.

Rodriguez (14-1-2) has just one loss in seven UFC outings and now has two straight wins.

The Muay Thai specialist was coming off a second-round TKO win over prospect Amanda Ribas in January. Rodriguez, 34, has lost only to former champion Carla Esparza in the UFC, but she has a pair of draws against Cynthia Calvillo and Randa Markos.

Waterson (18-9) is the former Invicta FC atomweight champion and one of the most popular women’s fighters on the UFC roster. Fighting out of New Mexico, Waterson was coming off a split decision win over Angela Hill last September, which snapped a two-fight losing skid. Waterson has won four of six fights overall.

“[Waterson is] so experienced,” Rodriguez said. “That’s the thing I knew going into it. When she was Invicta champion, that was [around the same time as] my first Muay Thai class. I looked up to her, too. I knew she was very tough. To go five rounds with her and win, it’s an amazing feat for my career.”

Marina Rodriguez to Fight Michelle Waterson in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night

Marina Rodriguez is heading to the Octagon

The 34-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist will face off against Michelle Waterson in the UFC Fight Night headliner on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Marina Rodriguez

The originally scheduled main event between former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw and top contender Cory Sandhagen was postponed last week due to a Dillashaw injury.

Rodriguez and Waterson are both top strawweights, but the bout will be contested a division up at flyweight due to the short-notice nature of the situation. The bout will still be five rounds, like typical UFC main events.

ESPN has Rodriguez ranked No. 6 in the world at strawweight; Waterson comes in at No. 9.

Rodriguez (13-1-2) has just one loss in six UFC appearances. She is coming off a second-round TKO win over prospect Amanda Ribas in January.

Rodriguez has lost just once in her career, to former UFC women’s strawweight champion Carla Esparza in a split decision last July.

Waterson (18-8) is one of the most well-known women’s fighters in mixed martial arts. Nicknamed “The Karate Hottie,” the New Mexico resident is coming off a split decision win over Angela Hill last September. Waterson has won four of her past six bouts with the only losses coming against Esparza and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, another former UFC champion.

Marlon Moraes to Reportedly Fight Rob Font at Final UFC Fight Night of the Year

Marlon Moraes is hoping to prove the comeback is bigger than the setback…

The 32-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist, a former UFC bantamweight title challenger, will take on Rob Font at a UFC Fight Night event in Las Vegas on December 19.

Marlon Moraes 

The UFC hasn’t officially announced the 135-pound bout, but ESPN sources confirmed have confirmed that both sides have agreed to it. MMAJunkie first reported the matchup and date.

It’s a quick turnaround for Moraes (23-7-1), who just suffered a second-round knockout loss to Cory Sandhagen in the main event of a UFC event October 10 on “Fight Island.”

Moraes fought for the UFC title in June 2019, but came up short in a TKO loss to Henry Cejudo. He is 2-1 in his past three bouts, with the win coming against Jose Aldo via split decision.

Font (14-4), of Boston, will be looking for the biggest win of his career. He has been a mainstay in the UFC’s rankings for a while, but has come up short in key matchups against John LinekerPedro Munhoz and Raphael Assuncao. He is 7-3 overall in the UFC.

The UFC hasn’t yet announced a main event for the UFC Fight Night, which will mark the final UFC event of 2020.