Very few people expected a lot from Marlon Moraes when he was first signed to fight bantamweight pioneer Miguel Torres at WSOF 1. The Brazilian would turn a lot of heads that night by gaining the nod, but people really took notice with his knockout of Tyson Nam at WSOF 2. Despite no longer being the underdog in his fights, Moraes feels no pressure ahead of his WSOF 4 showdown with Brandon Hempleman. MMAFrenzy caught up with the explosive bantamweight to discuss tonight’s bout, his training, and fighting in Brazil.
What do you think of WSOF 4 opponent Brandon Hempleman?
He’s a tough guy, but everybody is, everyone’s training jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and wrestling. So I don’t look at the bouts much different, I just train hard and give it 100%. I’m ready.
When you first signed with World Series of Fighting (to fight Miguel Torres) many people looked past you and still did before you defeated Tyson Nam earlier this year, how does it feel to finally have people’s attention?
You know, it is not a big difference. This is a hard sport and it makes no difference [to me], it’s just two guys in there and anybody can win but I am ready. I trained hard for this.
So was Muay Thai your original martial art?
Have you had any interest in doing what Tyrone Spong is doing by fighting in both kickboxing and MMA?
I have, yeah man, I am a fighter but [tonight] is my focus.
How much has training with guys like Ricardo Almeida and Frankie Edgar helped your all-round game?
Yeah, I am learning everyday. There’s a lot of experience at the gym and a lot of good guys.
Was it hard for you to leave your home country of Brazil to come to the US to train?
No, my life was hard there. Where I am now is better and it was the right move for me. They have helped me in my game.
What do you think of the UFC’s cards in Brazil and would you want to be a part of a card like that given the opportunity?
It’s awesome, if WSOF went there I would sign up, it’d be awesome. For Brazilian fighters we want to make a great show. So it helps to be home, it’d be cool.
Anything you want to say to the fans or any one you want to thank?
I just want to say thank you for their support and thank you to my coaches. I’m ready for Saturday!
You can follow Moraes on twitter @MMARLONMORAES, and make sure to tune in tonight as he faces Hempleman on the WSOF 4 main card starting at 10:30PM ET.
The World Series of Fighting features a solid offering of action tonight with kickboxing great Tyrone Spong taking on Angel DeAnda in the main event. The card will also feature WSOF president Ray Sefo taking on Dave Huckba and will mark the debut of former XFC lightweight champion Nick Newell.