The World Series of Fighting is back this weekend with a stacked card for MMA fans. World Series of Fighting 9 features two title fights as well as the WSOF debuts of Rousimar Palhares and Yushin Okami.
In the co-main event, the inaugural WSOF Bantamweight title is on the line as Marlon Moraes takes on Josh Rettinghouse in a fight that is guaranteed to produce fireworks. I had the opportunity to sit down with Moraes recently and discuss his training for the title fight, his motivation, and his goals in MMA.
How he’s feeling going into WSOF 9
I feel good man. I have spent a long time training and the camp went well. I had a lot of guys training with me. I have Frankie (Edgar), Ricardo (Almeida), Anderson, and a lot more. I can’t wait to fight you know? That’s it for me.
Being the favorite
I am not thinking about this. I just think about going out there and doing a good job and performing well. I want to do what I know I am capable of. I want to be the best fighter I can be on March 29th.
I am ready to fight, no matter who it is. I don’t think about my opponent in terms of his ‘name’. You have to respect every opponent. He is a great guy and a great fighter. He is a young guy with nothing to lose. He is going to go out there and perform. I am excited and can not wait. March 29th you have to watch because it is going to be a great fight. It is going to be a war. I am ready for this.
The opportunity to become the inaugural WSOF Bantamweight champion
Ya man, it is very exciting because we are going to fight for the belt. This is a great opportunity for me. I can make history because WSOF is still in it’s beginning. We don’t know what it will be 50 years from now, but hopefully I will see my name there. That is what I am working for. But, it’s the same as any other fight. When you get inside the cage every fight is the same. The belt is just extra motivation for me.
What weaknesses of Josh are you looking to exploit?
It’s MMA you know? In an MMA fight we can do everything. We can go to the ground, wrestling, boxing, striking, and I have to be ready for anything. Of course we watch tapes on him, but everybody changes. He can do whatever he wants in there, and I have to be ready for it. I think I am, and I am working everyday to be better than I am right now.
Potentially fighting in the UFC
I feel great right now in WSOF, but I still want to fight with the best guys you know? The best guys are there and I think I can fight and match up well with them. I just want to be a fighter and do what I can for WSOF. They have been great to me, and I am doing great with them. But, in the future of course I want to fight with the best guys. WSOF knows I want to, and it is no big deal. They are good with me, and I am good with them. Hopefully, if the opportunity comes, they will let me. They will let me realize my dreams.
Learning from Frankie Edgar
He is such a great inspiration for me and for everybody on the team. He is a champion, even without the belt he is a champion to me. He was a champion at 155, and now he fights at 145. He trains everyday like he has a fight next month, but he fights in July. I think he is ready, and whatever opportunities come his way, he will step up. Somebody gets hurt or anything, Frankie will fight for the title if the UFC asks him. I think after his next fight he will get the belt at 145.
Fighter pay in MMA
Of course I want to make more, but man sometimes if you pay somebody $100 he is going to want more. People always want more, and they are never happy. I am happy today where I am because I used to fight for nothing. I have nothing to complain about. I know if I keep doing well and representing my brand well, they will recognize that. The UFC, Bellator, and WSOF pay well if you represent them well. I am at this point.
The first sport in Brazil is Soccer, but now MMA is growing so fast. Everyone talks about MMA, wants to try and MMA, but Brazil is a really tough country to survive in. People are looking for something to do and they see MMA fighters and think ‘man I want to do that’. People need to realize that you have to do what you love, and not for money. I am so happy because I am doing what I love to do. For me, I never look at how much money I will make doing this or that, because this is all a gift from God. I just want people to do what they love and to be happy because if you are doing something and you are not happy, it does not matter. Even if you are making money, it won’t be that way for long because you are not happy. Brazil is a big country and we have a lot of talent. More guys are coming and I think MMA is growing more and more in Brazil.
I used to like Anderson, but my favorite fighter is Wanderlei Silva. Not because of what he does, but because of his attitude. His heart and his type of fights; I think that is the type of fighter that motivates me. The guy that has heart, goes out and fights with all he has. A guy like Frankie and Wanderlei who are just tough guys.