Last night was another rough night at the office for “Magic” Marlon Moraes (23-7-1). UFC Fight Island 5 was supposed to be a bounce back fight for Moraes despite a win in his last outing that came against Jose Aldo at UFC 245.
While Moraes walked away with his hand raised that night, most people thought he lost the fight. Prior to that loss, Moraes challenged for the UFC bantamweight championship against Henry Cejudo back at UFC 238.
In the first round of that fight, Moraes looked like the dangerous contender everyone thought he was. Devastating kicks and combinations flustered Cejudo. However, Cejudo wouldn’t go away. Eventually, Moraes tired, and Cejudo went on to break and finish Moraes in the third round.
Cory Sandhagen (12-2) is a tough matchup for anyone. He was actually the betting favorite last night, but I thought it was going to be a good night for Moraes. I thought his crisp striking would be enough to carry him to a victory.
However, UFC Fight Island 5 proved to be another bump in the road for Moraes. He struggled to land anything against the longer Sandhagen. In the second round, he was caught with a spinning kick and was finished on the ground seconds later for his second loss in three fights.
What’s next after UFC Fight Island 5?
In the eyes of many, Moraes is a fighter who has lost three fights in a row. Granted, the fights were to Cejudo, Aldo, and Sandhagen who are all either former champions or a top contender. Still, three bad performances in a row for Moraes.
The UFC is in an interesting position when it comes to Magic Marlon. Entering last night, he was the number one ranked bantamweight in the UFC‘s rankings. However, I’m expecting a big drop after the performance he had last night.
In looking at the rankings, I think a good next fight for Marlon would be a matchup between him and Pedro Munhoz (18-5, 1 NC). Munhoz is ranked sixth in the rankings currently, but he is also on a two fight losing streak.
To me, it’s perfect match making to pair the two of these top contenders up. One of them is bound to right the ship, while the other will continue to sink. Both of these top contenders could be looking at a sink or swim next fight in the UFC.