If Marlon Moraes decides to hang up his gloves after his knockout loss to Song Yadong at UFC Vegas 50, fellow bantamweight contender Marlon Vera will understand.
“I think he needs to retire, or at least he should,” Vera said Monday on The MMA Hour. “Four stoppages in a row? F***, we have families in MMA. People don’t realize, like, a guy like that goes home to his wife and kids, and it’s not cool. Like, it’s not cool being in that position.”
A veteran of 18 UFC fights, Vera was in the arena at the UFC APEX this past Saturday working as a commentator for the Spanish-language broadcast of UFC Vegas 50, so he had a cageside seat for Moraes’ latest setback, which saw the Brazilian lose in just a little over two minutes into the first round after getting dropped by a flush uppercut by Song.
It was the fourth knockout loss in a row for Moraes and the fifth knockout loss in his past six fights. Afterward, many fans noticed that Moraes removed his gloves while still in the cage, as some fighters do when they’re retiring, however he didn’t get a chance to speak.
In some ways, Vera can relate. He revealed Monday that he mulled retirement himself in 2018 off the heels off back-to-back loses in the UFC, however he pushed forward and now is scheduled to headline his first main event for the promotion against Rob Font on April 30.
Despite the fact that Vera and Moraes have butted heads in the past on social media, Vera said that he shared a few words with Moraes on Saturday night after the loss.
“I don’t celebrate nobody’s failure,” Vera explained. “Nobody’s, ever. You will never see me, ‘Haha, f*** you, you suck,’ unless I don’t like you — I’ll say ‘f*** you’ if you lose, but it’s neither here nor there. The thing with him, he came to me, he’s like, ‘Hey man, whatever we talked s*** in the past,’ I was like, ‘Hey bro, you just lost, I’m not trying to pick on you or anything.’
“I wonder how people can attack somebody like that when he’s that down. So when he came to me, he was like, ‘Hey man, whatever we said in the past — keep it up, you’re a good fighter.’ I’m like, ‘Hey brother, you don’t even have to talk to me. You’re fine.’”
Moraes is only 33 years old and was once a dominant force at 135 pounds. From late 2011 to 2019, he won 17 of 18 fights, reigned as World Series of Fighting champion, and then challenged for a vacant undisputed UFC bantamweight belt. Moraes told MMA Fighting ahead of UFC Vegas 50 that he understood the Song bout could be his “last chance” to keep his position among the elite, but that he also felt that he was still “UFC worthy.”
Vera may be a contender in the same division, but he nonetheless hopes his fellow bantamweight can find peace, however the story with Moraes plays out from here.
“I shook his hand and I said, ‘I wish you the best, man,’” Vera said. “‘Keep it up. Figure it out, do something that makes you happy,’ because I’m pretty sure right now he’s not happy.”