LOS ANGELES – Marlon Moraes isn’t letting the past get in the way of his future.
The former bantamweight title challenger hasn’t fought since June, when he was ground-and-pound finished by UFC dual champion Henry Cejudo. While he learns from every loss, Moraes doesn’t feel an urgent need to avenge the defeat.
“I can’t live (that) life,” Moraes told MMA Junkie at Dominance MMA media day on Tuesday. “I can’t keep thinking about him. I’ve got to think about my journey. My journey is to get back, train, get back, win, and keep winning, and maybe one day fight him again. That’s all I can do.”
Unmotivated by a rematch, Moraes is itching to return against any opponent the UFC puts in front of him. It’s not anything other than showcasing improvements and simply competing.
“Right now, I don’t care about the rankings,” Moraes said. “I don’t care about Henry. I just care about getting back. I want to fight, and I want to win. That’s it.”
Don’t call it a callout, but Moraes (22-6-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) wants to challenge a fellow Brazilian next.
Former UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo (28-5 MMA, 10-4 UFC) has voiced his desire to drop to bantamweight. With an added emphasis on respect, Moraes would love to welcome him to the division.
“It’s not like, ‘He’s the one calling out Aldo,’” Moraes said. “It’s not like that. I have muito respect for Aldo. Aldo is a great fighter. What happened is, he wants to move down to 135. He’s a legend. If he fights once, everyone is going to say this guy has to fight for the belt. But I don’t think he deserves (that) fight now. And I don’t think Henry is ready now.
“I’m at the top, so it makes a lot of sense for him (to) move down and fight with me. I’m more than happy to welcome him to the division. I think we could put on a very good fight.”
While Aldo might be at the top of Moraes’ list, he isn’t the only one. There are a number of matchups that interest the former World Series of Fighting bantamweight champ.
“As a fighter and fan, the fans like to watch the best fighters fight each other,” Moraes said. “So if we’re at the top, we’re the best. The best have to fight the best.
“… It doesn’t matter where. He’s one of the names. I said (Urijah) Faber. There are so many other guys: Petr Yan. Cody (Garbrandt). There are so many guys that I can fight. There are many options. I’m willing to fight anybody.”
Check out MMA Junkie’s full interview with Moraes in the video above.