Marlon Moraes was one victory away from capturing the UFC bantamweight title back in June 2019, sitting in the No. 1 spot at 135 pounds after winning four straight. Then came a technical knockout loss to Henry Cejudo and the “Magic” simply disappeared.
In the months that followed, the former WSOF bantamweight champion put together a dreadful 1-3 streak, though I’m not sure he’s finding any comfort in his win over Jose Aldo at UFC 245, which could have been scored in favor of “Junior.”
That’s why Moraes, 32, is headed to the shop for repairs.
“I’m going to have a little surgery on my right shoulder, something I’ve been carrying for a while,” Moraes told Ag Fight (transcribed by Adam Martin). “It is taking advantage of this time to recover and return 100 percent. I believe there will be about eight weeks of recovery. It is time to fix this, have the correct recovery time, and align the head with the body.”
Moraes (23-8-1) recently dropped out of the Top 5 of the division, which is currently ruled by reigning 135-pound kingpin Petr Yan. “No Mercy” is expected to defend his crown against Aljamain Sterling at the UFC 259 pay-per-view (PPV) in March.
“The soul is the same, I will never say no for any challenge, but now is the time to take a seat and rest from these hard workouts to start over,”Moraes continued. “Start over with a good head and body. Really the idea is to start over, with that spirit of being well to return with everything. (2020) was my first year without victories since I moved to the United States. I was defeated twice, so it’s time to get up. I’ve done this once and I’ll repeat it.”
Expect to see Moraes back in action at some point this summer.