The UFC is close to finalizing a fun matchup in the bantamweight division. MMA Junkie was the first to report earlier this afternoon that the promotion was targeting a matchup between “Magic” Marlon Moraes (23-9-1) and Song Yadong (18-5-1).
The matchup is expected to take place at a UFC Fight Night on March 12th. For Song, this is a massive opportunity against a former title challenger. Recently, Song was listed as ESPN’s top fighter under the age of 25 and for good reason.
The UFC prospect from China has looked very solid in his young career. Since making his debut with the UFC, Song has gone an impressive 7-1. During that stretch, he has very impressive wins over the likes of Chito Vera, Casey Kenney, and Julio Arce.
The lone loss came to another top prospect in Kyler Phillips. However, the wins over Kenney and Arce followed the lone loss in his UFC career. If Song can pick up the win in March over Moraes, it will prove that he’s ready to share the cage with guys near the top of the bantamweight division.
UFC’s Moraes looking to snap losing streak
While Song looks to be surging towards the top of the UFC’s bantamweight division, Marlon Moraes is sinking like an anchor. It’s crazy to think about where Marlon Moraes is now compared to where he was when the calendar moved to 2019.
At the beginning of 2019, many considered Moraes to be the best bantamweight on the roster. He was lined up to fight Henry Cejudo for the vacant bantamweight title and he was pegged as the favorite. After one round, he looked like he was going to cruise.
However, as the fight went on, Cejudo started to break Moraes. Cejudo stopped Moraes and started him down this tough path. Since the Cejudo loss, Moraes is just 1-3. The lone win came against Jose Aldo in a fight that most believe he lost. Aldo actually got a title shot off the loss to Moraes which should tell you something.
His last fight came back at UFC 266 against Merab Dvalishvili. In the first round of that fight, Moraes hurt Merab bad. Moraes looked like he was going to get a TKO win. However, Merab survived. When Merab survived, it broke Moraes.
Merab would go on to finish Moraes in the second round. Right now, Moraes is looked at as a guy that will break if he can’t finish you early. He’s going to have his hands full in March and he might be fighting for his UFC career. If he loses again, he might be staring at the harsh reality of getting cut by the world’s premier MMA promotion.