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Marlon Moraes ends MMA retirement, signs with PFL for 2023 season

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Marlon Moraes is back — and he has his eyes on a $1 million prize.

The 34-year-old former UFC title contender has inked a deal with PFL to compete in the promotion’s 2023 season, his manager Ali Abdelaziz told MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin on Thursday. A longtime bantamweight, Moraes plans to compete at 145 pounds.

Moraes joins Shane Burgos and Thiago Santos as UFC veterans to sign deals to compete in the 2023 PFL season within the past month.

The signing is a return home of sorts for Moraes (23-10-1). The Brazilian knockout artist rose to prominence in the original iteration of PFL, World Series of Fighting, racking up an 11-0 record in the promotion while capturing the WSOF bantamweight title and defending it five times.

Moraes announced his retirement from MMA this past April following a first-round knockout loss to Song Yadong at UFC Vegas 50, which pushed his UFC losing streak to four straight. Prior to that run, Moraes won five of his first seven UFC bouts, including a brutal 67-second knockout of current UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling in 2017.

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