PFL 4’s Marlon Moraes doesn’t want ‘to leave the game like that’

Marlon Moraes is looking for another shot at career redemption with PFL 4 this week.

By: Lucas Rezende | 4 months ago
PFL 4’s Marlon Moraes doesn’t want ‘to leave the game like that’
IMAGO/ZUMA WIRE: Marlon Moraes is set to face Gabriel Braga at PFL 4.

Hello, everyone! It’s Thursday once again, so that means it’s time for yet another rendition of the Brazil Beat. You know, the weekly roundup Brazilian fighting news conveniently put together into one post by yours truly.

This week, we’ve got former UFC contender having something to prove ahead of his fight at PFL 4, UFC Vegas 74’s Elizeu Zaleski and Phillipe Lins talking about the future, Octagon veteran turned Brazilian celebrity Antonio Carlos Junior trying to make the move to celebrity boxing and much more!

So let’s dive right in.

Marlon Moraes needs a win at PFL 4

Former UFC bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes is in dire need of a win ahead of his match at PFL 4 tonight. Once the champion when the Professional Fighters League was known as World Series of Fighting, ‘Magic’ has yet to score a victory since his return to the promotion, having lost two in a row so far.

To make matters worse, Moraes was already on a four-fight skid before, while still in the UFC. That makes it six losses in a row, all of them by KO. In an interview with Combate, the 35-year-old was fully aware of his difficult situation, but believes he can still turn his career around.

“It sure is an important fight for my career. I’m not going through an easy moment. It’s a really hard moment. Ever since I left the UFC, I had two results that didn’t go my way. I need this win not just as an athlete, but for my career. I don’t want to leave the game like that. I want to win. I want to win well and prove to everyone that I’m still in this game. I see real chances and I’m really well-prepared. I hope I can achieve my goal.”

Paired up against Gabriel Braga in the second round of the 2023 featherweight tournament, Moraes wants to put on an impressive, but smart performance at PFL 4. Though Magic would be even happier if he could score a finish, the main objective is to break the long sequence of losses.

“I want to win, I want to qualify, but I respect the game. A fight takes two people, two opponents. We have to be smart. In this game, when you really want to kill, you end up dying. Of course my goal is to win, but with intelligence. If it’s by decision, I’ll be very happy. If it’s a knockout, I’ll be even more.”

Moraes last win dates back to December 2019, when he scored a split decision over former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. After that, the 35-year-old was finished by Cory Sandhagen, Rob Font, Merab Dvalishvili, Song Yadong, Sheymon Moraes and most recently Brendan Loughnane.

Elizeu Zaleski wants Magny or Nelson

Moving on from PFL 4 to last weekend’s UFC Vegas 74, welterweight Elizeu Zaleski was happy to score a win after coming back from a one-year suspension. Though the Brazilian did not score a signature knockout finish, Capoeira was glad to return with a positive result against Abubakar Nurmagomedov, whom the 36-year-old bested via split decision.

Now that Zaleski is back, he is eager to make up for the time lost. In an interview with Ag Fight, Capoeira wanted to let the UFC know he is ready to go again, all the promotion has to do is give him a call. In fact, to make the mathmakers’ job even easier, the Brazilian provided two names he would like to take on next: Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson.

“I was able to land the best strikes. I wanted it more and that made all the difference. I was convinced. I could feel it in my heart that I was going to win. Thank God everything worked out. I’m really happy with this win and looking forward to fighting again. As soon as they call me, I’ll be ready. Nelson or Magny, I’m ready for our fight. I think the clash of styles makes it all the better. The better the opponent, the better my camp is going to be. That’s what makes me improve and tougher. I’ve never felt as good as now. I’ve still got a lot left in me.”

Phillipe Lins has no time to waste

On the same note as Zaleski, there’s another Brazilian who fought at UFC Vegas 74 who feels he has no time to waste. Having defeated Maxim Grisihn via unanimous decision in the first fight of the night, light heavyweight Phillipe Lins is looking for a step-up in competition.

Now that he’s on a three-fight win streak, Lins feels like he has earned a ranked opponent for his next outing. In fact, ‘Monstro’ even has a name in mind: former light heavyweight title challenger Anthony Smith.

The reason behind the callout is apparently quite simple in Lins’ opinion. In an interview with Ag Fight, the former PFL champ revealed that at 37-years-of-age, he knows he does not have much time left to make it to the top of his division. At this point, Monstro is looking for a pairing that matches his lofty ambitions.

“I promised a knockout, but that didn’t come. The most important is that I won, though. That’s my third straight win in the UFC. I think it was another good victory. Now I want a fight that makes sense when it comes to my goals in the promotion. A ranked guy would be perfect. I heard there’s a card going down in Brazil in November. I’d really like to fight there, in front of my people. I’d like to fight (Anthony) Smith. What do you say, my friend? Let’s do it in Brazil? I think it would be a good fight. He likes to strike. I think a fight against any top 10 guy would be perfect.”

ONE’s Guto Inocente eyes title shot, match against BJJ star

Moving on from America to Asia, there’s a Brazilian kickboxer who’s hungry for a belt at this Friday’s ONE card. As he makes the final preparations for his rematch against Rade Opacic, heavyweight Guto Inocente wants to make his intentions clear for his upcoming bouts. Much like Zalekis and Lins, the 37-year-old wants to stay active.

Having already knocked out Opacic in their first encounter, back in June 2022, Inocente seemed confident he could do it again in an interview with Combate. As a matter of fact, the former UFC fighter even plans to ask the promotion for a title shot should he managed to defeat his opponent one more time.

However, his plans don’t stop there. Once a UFC and Strikeforce veteran, Inocente is not done with MMA. Though he’s shifted his focus to kickboxing in the last couple of years, the heavyweight revealed to be interested in a clash of styles against BJJ star Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida, who transitioned to mixed martial arts in 2021 and is currently part of the ONE roster.

“Let me be honest. In my mind, I will beat Rade. Then I’ll ask for the kickboxing belt. Next year, I’ll call out (BJJ champion) Marcus Buchecha right at the beginning of the year to a MMA fight. I want to work. I’ve been asking them for work. I’ve just turned 37, but I feel really young. I’m not thinking about retirement. I see myself working for about 10 more years. I feel good. I fight because I like it. That’s what I have in mind.”

Shoeface wants in on celebrity boxing

Former UFC middleweight and the PFL 2022 heavyweight champion Antonio Carlos Junior is looking to cash in on the fighting world’s hottest trend at the moment: celebrity boxing.

Having been a cast member of Big Brother Brazil 23, ‘Shoeface’ saw his popularity skyrocket due to the exposure he got from the show. Even though Junior was expelled from the competition due to sexual harassment allegations, the BJJ blackbelt still has many fans.

At the moment, the fighter has 2,4 million followers on Instagram, a phenomenon Junior owes entirely to the reality show.

Willing to take advantage of his popularity, Shoeface found an opportunity to call out another celebrity who has recently turned to boxing: comedian Whindersson Nunes—one of Brazil’s most popular entertainers, with 59,2 million followers on Instagram and 44 million subscribers on his YouTube channel.

Most recently, Nunes started his boxing career by facing champion Acelino Freitas (yes, the one who is now fighting that Vin Diesel look alike) in an exhibition match that ended without a result since no fighter scored a knockout. However, the 28-year-old did score a TKO win when he faced fellow YouTuber Filipek in a tournament of influencers on April 2023.

Carlos Jr. wants a shot at Nunes, claiming it was always a dream of his to do a boxing fight, too. In a conversation with Caras magazine (transcribed by Ag Fight), Junior praised the comedian’s dedication while making a rather corteous callout.

“I would really like to do a boxing fight. I’ve seen Whindersson doing it. I would love to fight Whindersson, in fact. I’m inviting him. He’s a guy that I really admire, because he overcame depression and all that. He has found a way in boxing. I see that he’s really dedicating himself. It’s not his world, but he simply said ‘No, I’m doing it.’. And he’s doing it really well, masterfully.”

Mackenzie Dern’s dad continues to make history

Moving one from one Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion to another, we’ve got a milestone for coralbelt Wellington Dias. Better known as ‘Megaton’ the 55-year-old is a four-time Pan-American gold medalist. It also just so happens that he’s the father of another accomplished practitioner, UFC strawweight Mackenzie Dern.

Most recently, though, Megaton made history by becoming the first coralbelt to compete at the Internation Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation World Championship. The Brazilian made a post on his official Instagram account to celebrate the accomplishment.

“One more accomplishment in my career.” the 7th degree coralbelt wrote.

In the comments, Dias’ master Royler Gracie was among the ones who praised the feat. Other BJJ practitioners such as Rafael Lovato also left a message for Megaton.

“Incredible”, Lovato wrote, while Gracie just left a couple of clapping hands emojis.

Boxer with a soft heart

Moving on from one dad to another, Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceicao may be known as ‘Brabo’ (Angry in Brazilian) Portuguese, but that is only true when the 34-year-old is in the ring.

Having won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic games in Brazil, the super-featherweight is preparing to begin a run for a new boxing title after coming up short in his attempts against champions Shakur Stevenson and Oscar Valdez. Brabo’s next stop is a June 10 match against Nicolas Polanco, scheduled to take place in New York City.

However, not all is business for the boxer. As he is also a father, Conceicao shows his softer side on social media alongside his young daughter Sophia in a dancing routine.

In an interview with Combate, Conceicao gave some insight into the relationship with his daughter, social media and his fighting persona.

“She’s always talking about TikTok. ‘Daddy, let’s dance’. Every once in a while you have to be silly with your daughter. Who would say that the Angry one would be doing little dances? In front of my daughters, it can’t go wrong. I’m only the Angry one when I’m on the ring. Other than that, forget about it.”

A Brazilian Beat

There’s this singer from the state of Maranhao, in Brazil, who I discovered by accident when I was in Paris a few years ago. I was taking a taxi ride with a couple of friends when all of a sudden I hear Portuguese lyrics on the radio from a beautiful Brazilian voice.

I remember enjoying the instrumental that mixed Caribbean rhythms with reggae, so I instantly used Shazam to find out who the artist was before the song was over. Turns out that was the title track from a great album called ‘DNA’ by Flavia Coelho, who actually lives in France as I later found out, then it all made sense.

Coelho’s influences vary from bossa nova, reggae, Brazilian northeastern rhythms such as forro and baiao and still much more. She’s a delight to listen to and probably my favorite artist that I discovered by accident.

So here’s the song from that cab ride in Paris. I hope you can enjoy this one as much I did!

That’s all for this week, folks! See you next time and stay safe!

Lucas out.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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