Marlon Moraes is officially ending his retirement to sign with the PFL.
Former UFC bantamweight title challenger Moraes dropped his last four outings and went 5-1 in his last six with the sole victory coming over Jose Aldo by split decision. Following his final loss to Yadong Song in March, “Magic” announced that he would be stepping away from competing in mixed martial arts professionally after 15 years.
Marlon Moraes is set to return from retirement against Shane Burgos on the PFL Finale card
Less than six months after leaving the UFC, Moraes will make his comeback under a new multi-fight deal with the Professional Fighters League (PFL), first reported by ESPN. Moraes is expected to take on Shane Burgos in a featherweight bout for his debut on the PFL tournament finals card later this year. While verbal agreements appear to be in place, no fight contracts have yet been signed.
Burgos followed a similar route in making his way to the PFL. He was signed to the UFC from 2016 to 2022 until he was let go by the promotion with UFC president Dana White admitting it was a mistake to not retain him.
Moraes shares a connection with the newly founded PFL, which used to be the World Series of Fighting before the rebranding in 2017. The Brazilian veteran first gained popularity for his time competing in the WSOF, where he became the bantamweight champion.
Moraes’ departure from the UFC
Former UFC bantamweight title challenger Moraes had an exciting run in the promotion. After an unsuccessful debut against Raphael Assuncao in 2017, Moraes racked up an impressive four-fight win streak to earn a title shot. He avenged his loss to Assuncao and scored a first-round knockout of the reigning 135-pound champion Aljamain Sterling in the process. Eventually, former two-division champion Henry Cejudo defeated Moraes for the vacant bantamweight gold at UFC 238 in Jun. 2019.
Towards the end, Moraes suffered a string of knockout or technical knockout defeats. He got finished by top-ranked contenders such as Merab Dvalishvili, Rob Font, and Cory Sandhagen, before his final loss to Song.