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Renan Barao discusses possible fights with Marlon Moraes, Eduardo Dantas

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Marlon Moraes wanted a shot at UFC champion Renan Barao after fighting for the WSOF gold, and his former teammate is open to the idea.

Moraes, who won the vacant WSOF bantamweight championship with a dominant performance against Josh Rettinghouse in March, evolved as a fighter if compared to when he was training at Nova Uniao in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"I know Marlon for a long time, we trained together here (at Nova Uniao) in the past," Barao told the media recently in Brazil. "He did some fights here and went to the United States, where he became champion."

Moraes feels ready to challenge Barao, and is confident that his weapons would work against him.

"We trained together, but it was a long time ago," Moraes told MMAFighting.com in March. "He changed, I changed. Barao has evolved a lot in many aspects of the game. He was a jiu-jitsu fighter who became a striker. He’s the best in the world, but I’m learning and feeling more confident now. I would like to fight him. I feel ready. I have my weapons and I believe they would work against him."

"If I have to fight him, no problem at all," Barao responded. "It’s our job, so we leave the friendship aside and fight."

Barao won’t leave the friendship aside to fight Bellator 135-pound champion Eduardo Dantas, though, even after Dantas defended his title against Nova Uniao's Marcos Galvao.

"There’s no possibility of this fight ever happens," he said. "He’s my brother, so it would never happen. If it does happen, we’re both getting knocked out (laughs)."

In the meantime, Barao looks to defend the UFC bantamweight championship at UFC 173 in Las Vegas, Nev., on May 24, against Team Alpha Male product T.J. Dillashaw.