Former World Series of Fighting bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes has inked a deal to make his Octagon debut at UFC 212.
Fans have long wanted to see how the WSOF bantamweight kingpin stacks up against the best the UFC has to offer. UFC officials on Saturday revealed that Moraes had inked a deal with the MMA juggernaut and would waste no time jumping into the deep end of the pool.
Moraes will square off with No. 3 ranked 135-pounder Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212 on June 3 in Brazil.
Moraes (18-4-1) had been a WSOF fighter since the promotion’s first event before moving over to the UFC. He won all 11 of his bouts under the WSOF banner, becoming the bantamweight champion and defending the belt five times before his exit. He is currently on a 13-fight winning streak.
World Series of Fighting has been undergoing some turbulent times recently amidst some drastic restructuring, leaving Moraes with the opportunity for greener pastures. He joins former WSOF two-division champion David Branch in making the move to the Octagon.
Moraes’ first fight for the UFC will immediately gauge his standing in the promotion. Assuncao (24-5) hasn’t been able to crack the code to a UFC title shot, but he has consistently been in the midst of title talks for the past several years.
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One of the strongest fighters in the division, Assuncao had been on a seven-fight winning streak before dropping a unanimous decision to former UFC champion TJ Dillashaw last summer. He rebounded with a victory over rising talent Aljamain Sterling and can cement his position at the top of the division by giving Moraes a rude welcome.
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will put his belt on the line against interim titleholder Max Holloway on his home turf at UFC 212 in an attempt to unify the belts.
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