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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Marlon Moraes after second straight knockout loss?

UFC Fight Night: Moraes v Font Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

Another weakened of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Vegas 17 closed out UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, last Saturday night (Dec. 19, 2020). Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Greg Hardy, who suffered the first knockout defeat of his career thanks to the clenched fists of Marcin Tybura (see it again here).

And Geoff Neal, who despite a great effort, came up short against Stephen Thompson in the headlining Welterweight bout (highlights here). But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Marlon Moraes.

The No. 3-ranked Bantamweight came into his fight against Rob Font just a few months removed from a devastating knockout defeat at the hands of Corey Sandhagen at UFC Fight Island 5 in Abu Dhabi. Hoping for a win to get back on track and avoid falling further down a hole, “Magic’s” night in “Sin City” was anything but.

Right off the bat, Moraes scored a quick takedown, but Font was able to get the action upright after spending the first three minutes on his back. Then, he started doing what he does best: Connecting fists to face.

Font utilized his jab to perfection, clipping Moraes at will. While Marlon did his best to fire back, nothing really landed clean. That gave Font the confidence he needed to keep firing away, pretty much landing everything he threw, staggering the Brazilian bomber with a solid jab with 90 seconds remaining in the bout.

A few moments later, Font dropped Moraes with a sneaky uppercut, which eventually led to an onslaught of ground-and-pound that forced the official on duty to finally put an end to the action. And just like that, Font made his triumphant return after a year away from action due to injury.

Moraes, meanwhile, finds himself the owner of a two-fight losing streak, something he hasn’t experienced in eight years. Going back a bit further, “Magic” has lost three of his last four. His lone win during his skid was a controversial split-decision victory over Jose Aldo, which many felt should’ve gone the other way.

His struggles will likely cost him his ranking and maybe even take him out of the Top 5. His road back to another UFC title shot will also be a tougher hill to climb. But, Moraes is still one of the best in the world and I wouldn’t write him off just yet despite his crushing back-to-back knockout losses.

A fight against someone like Cody Stamann seems like the only logical fight to make next. Stamann is coming off a loss to Jimmie Rivera, so he is also looking to get back on track. For now, this is a good fight for Moraes to attempt to work his way back into the mix.

Objections?