I recently interviewed Marlon Moraes, who is a World Series of Fighting rising star. In this interview, I asked about the use of kicks. Recently in MMA, with good sprawls and footwork, kicks have become a bigger part of the striking game. After watching Josh Thomson vs. Nate Diaz, I became more interested in that.
I asked Marlon several questions
with that in mind. Some answers were as I expected but others were not.
That is the fun of an interview. I hope you enjoy how my outlook and
Marlon's intersect here. Of course, he surprised me with his unexpected
- You learned striking from Mark Henry and kicks
make up a key part of your striking style. You used your kicks often in
the Miguel Torres fight, but never got taken down even when he caught
them. What are your thoughts on using kicks and still maintaining good
Actually, I first learned striking with my
coach from Brazil, Anderson Franca, who was with me for 15 years. I have
been working with Mark since my Torres fight and I’m learning a lot
every day. He is an amazing coach and person, and he is now my head
coach. My thoughts about kicks and keeping good takedown defense are
that I’ve kicked all of my life and kicks are a part of my game. How can
I stop kicking? We are mixing it up with kicks, boxing, wrestling and
BJJ, but for us the timing is very important. The time after the kick;
speed and movement.
- Despite Torres’s long reach, you
outstruck him by using angles and a variety of strikes. Is being
unpredictable an important part of your striking game?
is. I have been working every day, because I know that a good MMA
fighter has to be ready in all areas of the fight. If your opponent
doesn't know what you are going to do, he’ll be in trouble.
In recent times, the jab has become a more clear way to control fights
on the feet, but some fighters include kicks to control the exchanges
because they provide a greater reach than punches. Do you think that
this trend will continue in the future?
I don't know. In my opinion, if you have a good jab you can control the fight.
Please tell us about Valor Martial Arts. In New York where you train
with Ricardo Almeida, Mark Henry and Frankie Edgar. In Florida, you
train with fellow Brazilian Edson Barboza, but who is your main coach
Valor Martial Arts is a new gym in Palm Beach Gardens. I
teach kickboxing with Edson and we have Raphael Chaves, who is
Checkmat's black belt, running the BJJ program. We are growing and
hopefully we can get some more training over here. When I am in New
Jersey, I train at RABJJ for MMA sparring and BJJ. At Mark's, I do
boxing, and Frankie does help me with wrestling sometimes at Elite,
Hoboke and Rutgers.
- You train your grappling with
Ricardo Almeida, who is an excellent teacher, but your last loss came
via submission in 2011. How much has your grappling improved since then?
did make a couple of mistakes in the past, but I’m working hard every
day here in Florida with Raphael Chaves, Pablo Popovich and Vagner Rocha.
And also, when I’m in camp, Ricardo is helping me every day. I’ll be
ready wherever the fight goes.
- You got married last year. How has that affected you as a fighter and a person?
have been together for six years, and living together for three.
Izabella is my best friend and she is my number one supporter. I'm so
happy and I think without her everything is harder.
- What is your favorite non-sports activity? Favorite book and music?
the beach and eating good food. Falcao Meninos do Trafico, and my
favorite music is Brazilian Rap (Mv Bill, Racionais, Pregador Luo,
etc.), Reggae and Gospel. I like lots of types of music.
You have fought and beaten Miguel Torres and Tyson Nam, who are
well-known in the fight world, and you are now one of the World Series
Of Fighting’s first stars. However, you have not fought in a WSOF main
event yet. Do you think that you deserve main event status when you
return to World Series Of Fighting or would you first like to build up a
greater name recognition by fighting more former UFC fighters?
I have my dreams and I’ll be training hard to get there! Right now, whatever WSOF decides, I’ll do.
Joe Murphy, Fabio Mello, Chris Beal and Carson Beebe are all on the
World Series Of Fighting bantamweight roster. Do you have a special
interest in facing any of them? Is there any other fighter you would
like to face in World Series Of Fighting or are you mainly interested in
fighting UFC talent in the future?
I don't know. Carson Beebe is
fighting on the next show against another guy. I think it makes sense
to have me fight against the winner in the August 10 main event. lol.
Marlon Moraes Official Twitter
Big thanks to Robert Sargent (MMA Rising) for English editing.