After Cody Garbrandt defeated Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 to win the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight title (video highlights here), he knew he was going to have a huge target on his back. And the challenges aren’t coming solely from within the promotion.
Reigning World Series of Fighting (WSOF) 135-pound champion, Marlon Moraes, was impressed with the dominant win for "No Love" over "The Dominator," but says he has the skill set to defeat anyone in the division and unseat the new champ.
"I was surprised a bit," he told MMA Fighting. "Cody did a great fight and deserved to be the champion that fight, but I wasn’t that surprised. He’s a great athlete, a great fighter, and deserved the opportunity. I think I can fight anyone, him, Dominick, and beat anyone on a good day," he added. "(Garbrandt) is a well-rounded fighter. He’s good. But, I have to be myself and fight my fight. I can beat anyone."
Moraes inked a one-fight deal with WSOF last year and defended his 135-pound title on Dec. 31, 2016, against Josenaldo Silva after the Brazilian suffered an unfortunate knee injury during their bout at WSOF 34 in New York City. Moraes is once again a free agent and is open to signing with the promotion that is willing to pay him the best.
"I want offers," he said. "I got in there and showed what I can do. We’ll see who wants to watch Marlon Moraes fight now, and who is willing to pay the price Marlon is worth. When I have a chance, I’ll show the world what I can do.
"I’ll weigh everything, talk to my family and my team, and decide what’s best for me, my next step," he added. "I want to fight the best and show my skills, but I also want to be valued.
Indeed, Moraes would be a great addition to any roster, UFC’s included, as he boasts a 13-fight win streak, including five consecutive title defenses. That said, Moraes makes it known that whoever wants his services needs to come correct with an offer.
"A professional needs to know that he’s being valued for his work. I want that. I want people saying, ‘I want to have this guy here.’ This is important for me. We’ll see where I find that," he concluded.