Tonight, in the co-main event of the World Series of Fighting 9, Marlon Moraes will attempt to become the first ever WSOF Bantamweight champion when he takes on Josh Rettinghouse.
Moraes has been with WSOF since their very first show, where he defeated Miguel Torres by split decision. Since then, Moraes has picked up three more impressive victories inside the WSOF before getting his shot at the belt tonight.
Many have speculated that Moraes may follow in the footsteps of former WSOF Light Heavyweight, Anthony Johnson, who is set to return to the UFC next month at UFC 172. In an exclusive interview with Fansided, Moraes explained that it is his dream to fight 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 [in the UFC] 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.
In a recent interview with MMAFighting, Moraes once again reiterated that if the WSOF are okay with it after he wins the title, he would like to move on to the UFC:
I want to win the WSOF title first. But if (Ali) thinks that (I’m the best), he should let me fight the UFC champion next because, in my opinion, the UFC champion is the best in the world.
With the UFC announcing that Bantamweight champion, Renan Barao, is taking on TJ Dillashaw at UFC 173 in May, the timing may be just right for Moraes to join the upper echelon in the UFC’s Bantamweight division.