After 14 bouts under the UFC banner, multiple time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion Sergio Moraes is getting set to fight for a different promotion for the first time since 2010. Following three straight losses in the Octagon, the ‘Panther’ was released from the UFC in 2019, but rising promotion Taura MMA swiftly picked him up alongside several other veterans of the Octagon.
Just a few days away from his Taura debut on October 23, Moraes spoke to Bloody Elbow about the time he spent in the UFC. And even though he ended up getting cut from the promotion, the Brazilian holds no hard feelings. Right now, he’s only focused on finding his way back to winning in the cage.
“I don’t think they were unfair. I was going through a bad moment and I think things happen the way they are meant to. You can’t cry about it. I’m very hard on myself. It’s hard for me to live with a loss. A loss is always bad and I can’t complain (about being fired) when I’m having bad results. The UFC was a great experience. They’ve treated me very well.”
“Retiring is something that doesn’t even cross my mind.” Moraes continued. “That’s a hard switch to flip, but it’ll have to flip eventually. I thought a lot about opening my own jiu-jitsu gym. I’ve been entertaining the thought, I think this is the closest thing I have (to retiring) at the moment. Opening up my own gym and giving the students a top-notch kind of service.”
Paired up against Jared Revel for his Taura debut, Moraes says he sees no need to hide what his strategy will be. Even though he has made himself at home at legenday striking gym Chute Boxe for the past several years, he expects to take his opponent to the ground and use his high-level jiu-jitsu to score his first win in two years.
“I’m completely focused on my grappling, but down here (at Chute Boxe) striking is their strong suit. We have to be ready for everything and expect the best and the worst. Only when you step into the cage you can have an idea of what is going to happen.”
Even though he’s spent the last decade much more focused on his MMA career, Moraes has never abandoned his roots as a competitive grappler. After making his Taura debut, he already has another match lined up—a grappling bout against former Bellator middleweight champ Rafael Lovato.
“I just fought at ‘BJJ Star,’ which is probably the best catchweight company in the world. And I’m fighting Rafael Lovato now, who is a great athlete. In November I’ll be grappling him in a gi.”
Sergio Moraes (14-6-1) was cut after dropping fights to Anthony Rocco Martin, Warlley Alves and James Krause. During his time in the UFC, the 37-year-old scored wins over notable names in the welterweight division, such as Neil Magny, Tim Means, and Ben Saunders.
Taura MMA 10 goes down this Friday in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul. The card will be headlined by a flyweight title fight between champion Felipe Gheno (9-1) and challenger Bruno Rodriguez (11-3-1). The co-main event will feature a bantamweight title fight between multiple time BJJ world champ Ary Farias (9-2) and Johnny Campbell (20-12). The card will also feature UFC veterans Rousimar Palhares, Bruno Mesquita, and Wendell Oliveira.
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