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Marlon Moraes steps in to face Aljamain Sterling on short notice at UFC Fresno

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It’ll be Long Island versus New Jersey on the West Coast.

Marlon Moraes has stepped in to face Aljamain Sterling on short notice at UFC Fresno on Dec. 9, sources confirmed with MMA Fighting on Friday. Sterling was supposed to face Rani Yahya, who pulled out with an injury. MMAjunkie was the first to report the news after Sterling posted he’d be facing Moraes on social media.

Moraes (19-5-1) is coming off a split decision win over John Dodson just six days ago at UFC Norfolk. The Brazilian, who has lived and trained for years in New Jersey, is the former World Series of Fighting bantamweight champion. Moraes, 29, is 1-1 since coming to the UFC, falling to Raphael Assuncao in his debut at UFC 212 in June.

Sterling (14-2) has won two straight, most recently a unanimous decision over Renan Barao at UFC 214 in July. The Serra-Longo product has compiled a 6-2 record in the UFC. Sterling, 28, is the former CFFC bantamweight champion.

UFC Fresno is headlined by a featherweight contender bout between Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega.

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