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On last fight of WSOF contract, champion Marlon Moraes leaves doors open

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Bantamweight kingpin Marlon Moraes headlines WSOF 32 against Josh Hill in Washington, and that could be his last fight under the promotion’s banner. One of the best bantamweights in the world outside of the UFC and Bellator, Moraes puts his title on the line for the fourth time Saturday night, but makes no plans for the future yet.

"This is the last fight of my contract, but we’ll see," Moraes told MMA Fighting. "I don’t know. I’m here. I want to put on a great performance, and we’ll see what happens next."

Unbeaten in nine bouts inside the WSOF cage, Moraes had to deal with questions about competing in the UFC throughout his entire run as WSOF champion, and admits that it has bothered him in the past.

"It’s a bit complicated to fight for a promotion while everybody else keeps asking you about fighting this guy or that guy in a different promotion, but I handle that well," he said. "I’m happy where I am. I’m thankful for being here at WSOF. WSOF has done a lot for me and for my family. We’ll see what happens in the future. Future belongs to God, and I want to be always ready to fight the best."

Moraes’ contract will be up after WSOF 32, but impressing UFC and Bellator officials isn’t his No. 1 priority against Hill.

"Not only them, but also WSOF. I want to show WSOF what I’m worth, what I can do," Moraes said. "I want to show WSOF who I am as an athlete. This is my main focus: defending my belt, putting on a great performance, and showing WSOF what I can do in the cage."

Hill had the chance to challenge Moraes for the WSOF bantamweight belt in 2015, and lost via unanimous decision. The Brazilian, who defended his title twice since that night, finishing Joe Barajas and Sheymon Moraes, expects a different opponent on Saturday night.

Hill went 4-0 after losing to the WSOF champion, and Mores feels he has done enough to earn another shot at the gold.

"It’s a rematch, an opportunity to fight him one more time and do better than last time," Moraes said. "I’m ready to go there and do my best. Fight hard, fight well for five rounds. I’m ready to end this in the first round or fight five rounds if needed.

"I had several tough fights too (as WSOF champion), but (Hill) was one of the toughest," he added. "He kept working, won a few fights, and I think he deserves this rematch. I’m excited to fight again. I’ll do my best and win again. I evolved a lot since that fight, and everybody will see that Saturday night."

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