Former UFC bantamweight number one contender, Marlon Moraes goes head to head with Song Yadong this Saturday at UFC Vegas 50.
After losing his last three fights, all by KO/TKO, Moraes will be looking to get back in the win column against highly rated talent, Song Yadong.
Yadong will be looking for his third win a row after two impressive displays against, Casey Kenny and Julio Arce.
Going into Saturday’s co-main event, the Chinese fighter is the heavy favourite at -275 and if he’s able to live up to expectations, Marlon Moraes’ UFC career could be in serious jeopardy.
Looking at the careers of former welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley and multiple time middleweight no.1 contender, Yoel Romero, who were both on huge losing streaks before being cut, (Woodley 4, Romero 3) it’s evident that the UFC isn’t afraid of letting go of big stars if they aren’t performing to their standard.
Saturday night is surely Moraes’ last chance to prove that he’s still good enough for the UFC and I’m not confident in his ability to come away with the win.
The Brazilian has always been a big Bantamweight, naturally weighing around 160lbs. However, it’s evident that the older he’s gotten the tougher the cut has been on his chin. Cutting around 15% of your total body mass isn’t healthy if not done correctly and I’m sure this is the case for Moraes.
Standing at 5’6, Moraes could easily fit into the featherweight division. Although there are a lot of tall featherweights such as Max Holloway and Zabit Magomedshapirov, the current champion, Alexander Volkanovski, is the same height as him and naturally weighs around the same as him, so there’s no reason why he couldn’t fit in that division.
When it comes to breaking down the fight, both men are excellent strikers. Moraes’ history lies in Muay Thai and Yadong’s in Sanda/kickboxing. However, Moraes always seems to lack the endurance after round one. Against Cory Sandhagen and Merab Dvalishvili, Marlon slowed down in round two considerably, leading to both stoppages. Unfortunately, I see the same thing happening this weekend. I think Marlon will win round one, but the weight cut will get to him in round two, giving Yadong a TKO finish.
If Marlon wins, he could potentially fight Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, who’s coming off a win against Frankie Edgar. Pedro Munhoz is another fighter Moraes hasn’t faced yet. If Yadong wins, I could potentially see him facing similar opposition. Also I think a fight with Dominick Cruz would be a great test for the 24-year-old.