Longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight contender, Raphael Assuncao, defeated Marlon Moraes by way of split decision when they went to war at the UFC 212 pay-per-view (PPV) event back in June 2017.
As far as decisions go, it was about as close as you can get.
So it only makes sense to have Assuncao and Moraes run it back, which they’ll do in the UFC on ESPN+ 2 headliner on Sat., Feb. 2, 2019 inside Northeast Olympic Training Center in Fortaleza, Brazil, with the winner moving on for a shot at the 135-pound title.
That’s according to promotion president, Dana White.
With that in mind, Moraes has no intention of making this another close contest, and while he’s clearly angling for a showcase performance, the real “Magic” will be in proving to the world that he deserves a shot at reigning bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw.
“I am fighting Raphael Assuncao, he’s one of the top guys in the bantamweight division,” Moraes said. “We fought before, I lost, and now I’m coming for revenge. I’m coming to show everybody I’m better than him. I’m going in there and I’m going to take it. I’m going to prove to everyone that I’m the best.”
Since their first go-round, Moraes (21-5-1) has kept himself in the win column, smashing and trashing Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera in the process. Similarly, Assuncao (27-5) has put together another pair of wins, including a scintillating knockout victory over Matthew Lopez at UFC Fight Night 120 roughly one year back.
“I’m walking in there for a war,” Moraes said. “Let’s give all the fans ‘Fight of the Night.’”
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