Marlon Moraes
Marlon Moraes PFL photo


  • Marlon Moraes briefly retired after 11 fights in the UFC
  • Moraes recently came out of retirement and signed with PFL
  • Moraes faces fellow Brazilian Sheymon Moraes on November 25th

At one point in his career, Marlon Moraes was the hottest bantamweight contender in the UFC.

From 2017 to 2018, Moraes strung together four-straight victories against the likes of John Dodson, future champion Aljamain Sterling, Jimmie Rivera and Raphael Assuncao to earn a much-deserved shot at the UFC bantamweight championship.

Unfortunately for Moraes, he couldn't win the big one as he was outclassed by Henry Cejudo for the vacant 135-pound strap.

Since the loss to Cejudo, Moraes' UFC career went pretty much downhill as he lost four of his next five bouts—all by knockout.

In April 2022, following a knockout loss to Song Yadong, Moraes announced that he would be retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).

Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the November 24 episode of The MMA Hour, Moraes bared that he was dealing with motivation issues, ultimately leading to his retirement.

"Man, I just wasn't feeling it anymore in the UFC, and things weren't going my way, and I just lost the motivation after the [Song Yadong] fight," Moraes said. "I'm always a hard-working guy, I train hard for every single fight, and things just weren't going my way."

"I just couldn't see anything different at that time. I needed some time, I needed some time with my family, I needed some time with myself. I need to see everything that I've done in my career, and this wasn't working for me," he added.

The 34-year-old native of Nova Friburgo continued by saying that he ultimately felt that it was time to leave not just the UFC, but the sport as well.

"I was in a bad spot, even mentally. Things were not just going my way, I had fights in my hand, then I just let it slip, but I know I have the talent, I know I have the skills," he stated.

"I didn't feel like the UFC anymore. For the UFC, I felt like, never. Not anymore."

Just five months after calling it a career, Moraes made headlines by announcing that he was coming back to MMA and signed a deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

The move to the Washington D.C.-based promotion is a homecoming of sorts for Moraes as he competed for its predecessor—the World Series of Fighting (WSOF)—from 2012 to 2016 and was the organization's long-time bantamweight titleholder.

With PFL, Moraes is reunited with Ray Sefo, who works as the league's president for fighter operations.

He expressed excitement about being able to work with the kickboxing legend-turned-executive.

"I'm here. I'm young, I still got a lot left in me, and the 'click' that I need, that was this opportunity to compete with the PFL, to work for Ray [Sefo] and all these PFL guys, and be in a new platform, a different atmosphere, different people, and new challenges, different challenges," Moraes mentioned.

"The opportunity for the PFL or other organizations, I didn't about, I ended up thinking about them later. I'm thankful for Ray Sefo for the opportunity and for the talks."

On Friday, November 25th, Moraes makes his promotional debut when he meets a familiar foe with a similar last name in Sheymon Moraes on the 2022 PFL World Championship card in New York.

Moraes was initially scheduled to face fellow former UFC veteran Shane Burgos, who was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Moraes is more than excited to kick off a new chapter in his MMA career.

"That's why I'm over here, that's why I'm back, and I'm back for good. I'm happy, and, more importantly, I am ready," he ended.