UFC Fortaleza to be Headlined by Marlon Moraes vs. Raphael Assuncao Rematch

Marlon Moraes UFC Utica UFC Fortaleza, Raphael Assuncao
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

UFC Fortaleza has its main event, and it’s a top contender bout in the bantamweight division between Marlon Moraes and Raphael Assuncao.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto confirmed the UFC Fortaleza main event.

Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes have both been chasing an elusive title shot against TJ Dillashaw. Despite an 11-2 record in the Octagon and a 1-1 record against the champion, Assuncao has never fought for gold, in all likelihood due to his tendency to win by decision. That has not been an issue for Moraes, who rebounded from a promotional debut loss to Assuncao with three straight wins, finishing Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera in the first round. Now the two contenders will cross paths again for a shot at the champion.

Raphael Assuncao was just 3-3 at featherweight in the WEC, then lost in his UFC debut against Erik Koch. As a result, he dropped to bantamweight and was a changed man. The Brazilian rattled off seven straight wins, finishing off the run by making Dillashaw, Pedro Munhoz, and Bryan Caraway his victims. Assuncao underwent a long layoff, and while that happened, Dillashaw won and lost the title and Assuncao became his first post-title reign victory. Assuncao has won four-straight since then, including his controversial decision against Moraes.

Marlon Moraes was the king of WSOF’s bantamweight division for many years, winning 11 fights in the promotion and defending the title five times. After dropping his long-awaited UFC debut to Assuncao, Moraes has been the man fans expected when he was signed. A decision over John Dodson and the aforementioned finishes of Sterling and Rivera have catapulted him to the top of the weight class.

UFC Fortaleza takes place on February 2, 2019, from Fortaleza, Brazil. No arena has been announced yet, but the last time an event was held in the town it took place in the Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste. In addition to the main event, Thiago Alves will fight Max Griffin that night.