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Sergio Moraes: Grapplers become strikers when they have to fight me

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- The last time Sergio Moraes stepped inside the Octagon, the jiu-jitsu wizard fought to a draw with promotional newcomer Luan Chagas at UFC 198 in May. This time, "Serginho" wants to leave no doubts.

Moraes is set to take on Zak Ottow at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 100 event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and gets extra confidence from knowing that he has no injuries going into the welterweight bout.

"I’m completely healed and injury-free now, and I’m ready for a brawl," Moraes told MMA Fighting, revealing that he suffered back and hand injuries prior to UFC 198 in Curitiba. "I worked the best way possible to fight in an intelligent and lethal way."

Moraes doesn’t regret taking the UFC 198 fight, but is disappointed at his own performance against Chagas.

"I only regret not doing my 100 percent in there," he said. "I could have gone all the way. I didn’t underestimate him as I don’t underestimate anyone. If the UFC puts someone in front of me is because they believe they can beat me, so I just go there to prove they can’t."

Moraes , a multiple-time jiu-jitsu champion, was originally scheduled to meet Mike Graves in Sao Paulo, but Ottow stepped in after Graves was arrested for domestic violence. Moraes says he didn’t change anything in his game plan for UFN 100, but expects his opponent to change his style against him.

"I saw that he’s a grappler and always takes his fights to the ground, but when a grappler fights ‘Serginho’ he always becomes a striker and wants to keep it standing," Moraes said with a laugh. "I’m prepared for it. I’ll move forward, step by step, eliminating whoever is in front of me. A submission or a knockout, in the first round, to light up the crowd."