UFC officials are close to finalizing a rematch between top-ranked title challengers Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes according to ESPN. This bout will take place on the promotion’s second ESPN+ event in Fortaleza, Brazil in February.
Raphael Assuncao has been calling for a title shot since his victory over Rob Font at UFC 226 in July. Assuncao is riding a four-fight win steak, with one of those wins coming over Marlon Moraes which took place last summer at UFC 212. Assuncao is an eight-year vet of the UFC and is not one to call out fighters, he just wants the respect he’s earned, and addressed that after his last victory.
Marlon Moraes is the former World Series Of Fighting bantamweight champion before making the jump to the UFC. Moraes has gone 3-1 in his time with the UFC, his only loss coming against Assuncao. Moraes has also been calling for a title shot after devastating finishes to Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera.
This rematch will have high stakes. It’s hard to argue that the winner of this fight doesn’t get a title shot. Assuncao could finally get his first crack at UFC gold and Moraes can get revenge on top of a chance to add another title to his résumé. Current champion T.J. Dillashaw has the division on hold for the moment as he is challenging flyweight champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 233 in January.