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Marlon Moraes on why Cory Sandhagen is a "better version" of Dominick Cruz

Marlon Moraes v Jose Aldo
Marlon Moraes v Jose Aldo
R. Nath
Modified 08 Oct 2020, 02:59 IST

Marlon Moraes is a part of one of the most stacked UFC divisions today - the Bantamweight division. Filled with hungry Championship-caliber talent, the Brazilian is set for his first fight in 10 months.

The last time Marlon Moraes fought was at UFC 245, beating Jose Aldo in what was considered a highly controversial decision at the time. Marlon Moraes is now ranked number one, but because he has only had one victory since his unsuccessful title challenge against Henry Cejudo, the Brazilian knows where he stands.

He's set to face number four ranked Cory Sandhagen in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 37. Despite coming off a first-round defeat to Aljamain Sterling in their title eliminator fight, Sandhagen is still considered a highly-touted prospect in the 135-pound division.

It's a challenge that excites Marlon Moraes, who told reporters (H/T MMA Junkie) on media day that his upcoming opponent Cory Sandhagen is a "better vision of Dominick Cruz":

“I think Cory [Sandhagen] is a better version of Dominick Cruz,” Moraes told reporters at Wednesday’s UFC on ESPN+ 37 media day. “I want to get in there and show the caliber of fighter I am. Getting there against a highly skilled opponent like Cody. Cody’s not an easy fight for anybody. In my opinion he’s one of the best fighters in the division and he’s one of the hardest guys to fight.”

Aljamain Sterling is expected to fight Petr Yan for the UFC Bantamweight Championship soon. When asked whether he was mad about being passed up for a title shot, Marlon Moraes said that he was aware that his win over Jose Aldo wouldn't be enough to warrant a title shot:

“Not (mad) at all with not getting the title shot,” Moraes said. “I knew I needed another fight after beating Aldo and it was a close fight and I just fought for the title. People want to see someone get in there with a statement, and that fight was a good fight with a legend, but it wasn’t a statement. Here I am now. I focus on the fight and the performance I’m going to put on."

Can Cory Sandhagen overcome Marlon Moraes?

Over the last few years, Marlon Moraes has been one of the biggest threats in the UFC Bantamweight division. While Cory Sandhagen's last defeat came in less than 90 seconds, it was only his first defeat inside the Octagon and his second overall career loss.

It looks like Marlon Moraes vs. Cory Sandhagen will be a chess match, but the Brazilian's momentum could favor him. Either way, it's a big test for Sandhagen to see whether he's ready for title contention. Even with a win for Sandhagen, he might need a couple of more victories to secure a title shot.

Marlon Moraes, on the other hand, can make a strong case to face the winner of Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling if he's able to defeat Cory Sandhagen.

Published 08 Oct 2020, 02:59 IST
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