A high profile bantamweight contest that will carry major implications for the division is headed to Fortaleza, Brazil when Raphael Assuncão takes on Marlon Moraes on February 2nd in a bout that could very well determine the next challenger for the bantamweight championship currently held by T.J. Dillashaw. Sources close to MMA News have confirmed the initial report of this bout from ESPN.
This will be a rematch between the two top-five bantamweights, with their first encounter taking place last year at UFC 212 where Raphael Assuncãotook home the split-decision win. The only loss Assuncão has suffered since 2011 was to reigning champion T.J. Dillashaw. He has picked up notable wins over Aljamain Sterling, Bryan Caraway, Pedro Munhoz, and many others. But the victory that you can expect to be referenced the most by both fans and media leading up to this bout is the one held over Moraes from last year.
Marlon Moraes also only has one loss since 2011, and this rematch will grant him the opportunity to avenge it. Save the loss to to Assuncão, Moraes has been red hot, rolling through names like Aljamain Sterling, Jimmie Rivera, and John Dodson. Moraes has been one of the most outspoken fighters about the logjam at the top of the bantamweight division, and perhaps there is no better fight than this one to unclog the heap at the top of the bantamweight division and get things moving again.
Who do you think will pick up the victory in the rematch? Raphael Assuncão or Marlon Moraes?