UFC Vegas 17’s Marlon Moraes: “There’s Been a Lot of Hits This Year, and It’s Time To Hit Back.”

The UFC Vegas 17 card on Saturday sees Marlon Moraes looking to bounce back from a disheartening loss to Cory Sandhagen earlier this year.

Despite the setback, however, it seemed like just days after the loss that Moraes had signed up to compete against Rob Font.

When it comes to the quick booking, Moraes (23-7-1) told Cageside Press during Thursday’s UFC Vegas 17 media day that “that’s what I do. I do this every day. I train. That’s my passion. I’ve spent the whole year working.” Just because he lost a fight doesn’t mean he’s going to sit at home and “enjoy” the rest of the year with a defeat, Moraes added. “That’s not who I am. I’m going to challenge myself, get back in there, and fight to the end. Get in there, perform well, and get the victory Saturday night.”

What does one take away from a defeat like the one Moares had against Sandhagen? The recognition, perhaps, that at this level, it’s a game of inches against the best in the world. “Top five of the division, the best of the best. One mistake, you lose,” noted Moraes. “You know, we had the same level but that was his day. Hats off to him.”

Moraes is now focused on Rob Font, an opponent the Brazilian sees as “a very good fighter.” When it comes to the New England Cartel member, “he finishes his fights. He’s a striker, he’s got submissions. But I just think I’m a little ahead of him. I’m faster, and I’m gonna get in there, put everything together and win this fight Saturday night.”

The former WSOF bantamweight champion and UFC title challenger’s drive to win this fight has a simple motivational premise at its core. “Every day when I wake up, and I look at myself in the mirror, I see a winner,” said Moraes. “And I lost my last fight, and I want revenge.”

Then there’s just the overall terrible year the entire planet has been having. Training wise, Moraes has had a good year, and he’s looking to prove that “it’s my time to shine.” At the same time, when it comes to 2020 as a whole, Moraes is far from immune. “There’s been a lot of hits this year, and it’s time to hit back. It’s time to be me. To get in there, mix it up and show everyone I’m an animal,” he proclaimed.

He’ll have his chance against Font — although Moraes has long been after another contender, Dominick Cruz. The “Dominator” is expected to return to action in 2021, something that caught Moraes unaware on Thursday.

“I didn’t know that. I asked for him to fight me. And he always, when I asked, he said he’s retired, so I thought he was still retired,” recalled Moraes. “So if he’s back, I’m here and I’m game anytime, anywhere.”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 17 media day press scrum with Marlon Moraes above.