Marlon Moraes is calling it a career, but unlike the last time he announced his retirement, it appears he’s really ready to walk away.
The 35-year-old bantamweight, who previously reigned as a World Series of Fighting champion before he was a one-time UFC title challenger, suffered a knockout loss to Gabriel Braga at PFL 4 on Saturday in Atlanta. That ultimately served as his seventh loss in a row – with every single defeat by way of knockout or TKO.
Immediately after the fight ended and he got back to his feet, Moraes removed his gloves, and with tears in his eyes, he announced Thursday’s fight would be his final stop.
“I started here with World Series of Fighting, and when I announced my retirement, I was in the UFC,” Moraes shouted. “I wasn’t home. Now, I’m home. I wish I had better performances here, but I gave all my heart. I trained hard. I can look myself in the mirror everyday and be proud of myself. I’ve been kickboxing, MMA, since I was 9. I’m 35. 26 years, I gave all my life for this.
“I gave my heart for the sport. Thank you god. God gave me all I have. I can’t be sad today. I’m happy. I have a beautiful wife, two kids.”
Moraes was long considered one of the best 135-pound fighters in the world, especially after he rattled off 11 straight wins in World Series of Fighting, which included five bantamweight title defenses.
He eventually signed with the UFC as a free agent, and after suffering a razor-close loss to Raphael Assuncao in his debut, Moraes put together another impressive four-fight winning streak, including a vicious knockout of future UFC champion Aljamain Sterling.
Moraes came up short in his bid to win a UFC title after falling to Henry Cejudo in a back-and-forth battle back in 2019. But he quickly bounced back with a victory over Jose Aldo when he returned to action. Sadly, that was the last win of his career, and he ended his UFC run with four straight losses, precipitating his previous retirement.
Less than six months later, Moraes revived his career by signing with the PFL and competed at featherweight rather than bantamweight. He fell to Sheymon Moraes in his promotional debut, and then he suffered the same fate when facing 2022 featherweight champion Brendan Loughnane in April. This latest loss to Braga was enough to convince Moraes that he should hang up his gloves for good.
Moraes retires with a 23-13-1 record overall.