Las Vegas, NV — UFC 266 bantamweight Marlon Moraes has been on the shelf a little longer than usual.
And for good reason, he revealed during the event’s media day on Wednesday.
Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press, Moraes (23-8-1) noted that “since I moved to the United States, I never took a break from fights. After the loss, in the fight with Rob Font, I decided to fix it. I had a problem with my shoulder that I was carrying for a long time.”
The shoulder issue was giving Moraes pain “here and there,” he added. “I got that fixed. Now let’s see. Let’s get better. Let’s get better, let’s get healthy, let’s focus on our last fights, the mistakes we made. Let’s fix it, let’s put it all together, make a plan.”
Moraes now sees himself as “new blood,” he continued. “I’m healthy, and I’m ready to go.”
In his first fight in nine month, against Merab Dvalishvili, Moraes says he wants to do “something great.”
Ahead of his return, Moraes also admitted that the past year, if not more, has represented the worst time in his fighting career.
“Since 2020, I had a fight with the champ, in my opinion, unfortunately he’s not the champ anymore. But I was supposed to fight Petr Yan. That never happened,” he explained. “We all, the whole world, all countries, we have been facing bad times. For me, it was a bad time. I’m a winner, and I lost my last two fights. You all know how you feel when you lose, and I felt that twice. This whole pandemic time, I’ve been facing the worst time of my career, and it’s kind of hard to get up again.”
But, added Moraes, “it’s not impossible, and I know I can do it. I train, I prepare myself, and that’s how I’m coming.”
Watch the full UFC 266 media day appearance from Marlon Moraes above. More coverage from the event can be found below.