Aljamain Sterling agrees with internet: He 'really did do the dab' after scary KO at UFC-Fresno

When we look at exciting, highlight-reel knockouts, it’s easy to forget that there’s someone on the wrong end of them.

Sometimes, though, we get stark reminders.

That was the case at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123, when a vicious knee by Marlon Moraes landed flush on Aljamain Sterling’s chin after 67 seconds. While the perfectly-timed blow made for one eye-popping sight, the awe turned into apprehension as Sterling lay on the mat for minutes before leaving on a stretcher.

Sterling, however, was coherent backstage and would soon appease everyone with a tweet. And, two days later, he’s showing that his sense of humor is still very much intact. (via Twitter)

The “dab” happens the moment Sterling lands, with his hands to his right side. (via Twitter)

While it’s probably not as bad as feeling it, watching yourself get knocked out can’t be fun. Still, that’s what Sterling did – pin-pointing the exact moment in which he realized the takedown he thought he’d timed down so perfectly wasn’t such a great idea. (via Twitter)

Thankfully, despite having a two-fight winning streak violently snapped, Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) seems to be alright. Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), of course, is doing a tad better – now two wins removed from a narrow loss to Raphael Assuncao in his UFC debut, he also took home a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

For what it’s worth, Sterling probably got some added fan appreciation in the process. And we all got a lesson in post-fight class from both bantamweights.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Score a scary knockout win? Handle it like the ultra-classy Marlon Moraes

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Dann StuppIf you’re going to blast an opponent with a scary knockout, you can win over a lot of fans if you handle it the way Marlon Moraes has.

On Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 main card, Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), a former WSOF bantamweight champion, fought for the second time in less than a month and blasted Aljamain Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC).

The 67-second knockout win was impressive – after a wild exchange, Moraes tagged Sterling with a violent fight-ending knee – but the aftermath was a little scary.

As the FS1-televised bout was called off, Sterling remained on the canvas at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. He eventually was carried out of the cage on a stretcher.

Immediately after the bout, MMAjunkie’s John Morgan reported Sterling was coherent backstage and transported to a hospital for precautionary reasons. Sterling then posted an update to assure fans he was OK.

After the fight, Moraes discussed why it can be bittersweet to win in such a manner.

“You don’t want to see your friend – he’s my friend, you know, because he does the same sport I do,” the 29-year-old Brazilian told MMAjunkie. “I don’t hate anybody in this sport.

“I’m just in this sport for my legacy and my family. That’s my job. But I don’t want to hurt my friends. I don’t want to hurt a guy. But man, if you have to, it is what it is. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery and he can come back to the cage soon.”

Moraes, a longtime WSOF titleholder who suffered a split-decision loss to Raphael Assuncao in his UFC debut, now has wins over former title challenger John Dodson and Sterling, who entered UFC Fight Night 123 in the No. 12 spot in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings.

“For me, it’s not about being a UFC fighter,” No. 6-ranked Moraes said. “I’m one of the best. I don’t want to be a UFC fighter just to say I’m a UFC fighter. I want to prove to everyone I’m one of the best. That’s it.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

The MMA Road Show with John Morgan No. 141.5 – Fresno: Dana White, Brian Ortega, Cub Swanson, Marlon Moraes, Benito Lopez, Alex Perez

Episode No. 141.5 of “The MMA Road Show with John Morgan” podcast is now available for streaming and download.

MMAjunkie lead staff reporter John Morgan hosts the show while traveling the world to cover the sport.

UFC Fight Night 123 is in the books, and John Morgan wraps up everything that happened onsite in Fresno. Hear from headliners Brian Ortega and Cub Swanson after a thrilling “T-City” win, as well as UFC President Dana White and additional UFC-Fresno winners Marlon Moraes, Benito Lopez and Alex Perez.

Listen below, or check it out on iTunes or at themmaroadshow.com. You can also subscribe via RSS.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 video highlight: Marlon Moraes viciously KOs Aljamain Sterling

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Fighting for the second time in a month, Marlon Moraes made a major statement to the UFC’s bantamweight division with a brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling.

Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) took out Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) with a vicious knee to the chin. The knee landed before Moraes’ high kick could get to the mark. The end came 67 seconds into the bout.

The bantamweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 123 event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the brutal finish in the video above.

Also see:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC Fight Night 123 bonuses: Brian Ortega's amazing performance doubles up for $100,000

FRESNO, Calif. – Brian Ortega doubled up for $100,000 in bonus money, and Cub Swanson and Marlon Moraes each earned $50,000 bonuses for their performances at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 event.

Ortega and Swanson earned the “Fight of the Night,” while Ortega and Moraes each won “Performance of the Night” honors.

UFC officials announced the winners following the event, which MMAjunkie attended.

Ortega (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) and Swanson (25-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC) had no issues slugging it out in the second half of the first round and early in the second. Ortega had a submission attempt late in the first, and that no doubt boosted his confidence in the second when he jumped for a perfect guillotine choke that forced Swanson to tap.

Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) knocked Aljamain Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) down about a minute into the first round, but when he pounced on him, Sterling grabbed his arm for a submission attempt. Moraes worked out of it, and when Sterling got back to his feet to get going again, he was met with a perfectly placed knee from Moraes, who was trying to throw a high kick – but landed the knee first, right to the chin. Sterling was out cold before he hit the canvas.

UFC Fight Night 123 took place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Marlon Moraes' 'KO of the Year' contender vs. Aljamain Sterling at UFC-Fresno

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In an important clash of bantamweight contender, Marlon Moraes came out on top Saturday when he defeated Aljamain Sterling in memorable fashion at UFC Fight Night 123.

Former WSOF champion Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) picked up his second win in a 28-day span when he defeated Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) with a perfect knee knockout just 67 seconds into the FS1-televised bout at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. Early prelims streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Moraes’ victory over Sterling at UFC Fight Night 123.

* * * *

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 results: Marlon Moraes KOs Aljamain Sterling with ridiculous knee

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Fighting for the second time in a month, Marlon Moraes made a major statement to the UFC’s bantamweight division with a brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling.

Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) took out Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) with a knee to the chin. The knee landed before Moraes’ high kick could get to the mark. The end came 67 seconds into the bout.

The bantamweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 123 event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Moraes caught a kick early and tossed Sterling to the canvas, but refused to drop down with him. Sterling popped back up and threw a low kick, then danced outside. Moraes tried to press forward, but couldn’t find a home for a right.

Then things got crazy in a hurry. Moraes hurt Sterling with a left and dropped him. He followed him down and landed punches on the canvas, but Sterling grabbed his arm in search of an armbar. Moraes worked his way out of it, leaving Sterling on his back.

Moraes retreated to the center of the canvas, and when Sterling got back to his feet and approached, things were over before they even could get restarted.

Moraes threw a left kick to the head, but before the foot could get there, Sterling lowered his stance and tried to close the distance, and that allowed Moraes’ knee to drill him in the chin. He was out cold before he hit the canvas. No follow-up shots were needed.

“I want to be active. I want to fight again. I fought one month ago, and Sean Shelby gave me an opportunity to be here, and I’m here. Watching on the TV is something, but being in here, feeling this cage, it’s unbelievable. But I think I’m starting to like it here and I think I’m going to give some trouble to the ’35ers. … I went for the kick, but I caught him with the knee.”

Moraes, a former WSOF champion, won for the second straight time after suffering a split-decision loss in his promotional debut to Raphael Assuncao in June. Sterling had a two-fight winning streak snapped.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 123 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Fresno.)

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC-Fresno main-card breakdown: Moraes-Sterling, Holtzman-Horcher and more

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC 218’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at the first four fights on the main card.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

* * * *

Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 29 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 67″
  • Last fight: Decision win over John Dodson (Nov. 11, 2017)
  • Camp: Ricardo Almeida BJJ (New Jersey)
  • Stance/striking style: Orthodox/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Good

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA title
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt
+ Multiple muay Thai accolades
+ 8 KO victories
+ 5 submission wins
+ 10 first-round finishes
+ KO power
+ Consistent pace and pressure
+ Excellent feints and footwork
^ Pivots, lateral movement, distancing
+ Accurate shot selection
^ Coming forward and off of the counter
+ Dynamic and dangerous kicker
+ Underrated wrestling ability
^ Strong hips and positional awareness
+ Good transitional grappler
^ Solid scrambling and submissions

Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 28 Weight: 135 lbs. Reach: 71″
  • Last fight: Decision win over Renan Barao (July 29, 2017)
  • Camp: Serra-Longo MMA (Long Island, NY)
  • Stance/striking style: Switch-stance/kickboxing
  • Risk management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+ Regional MMA titles
+ Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt
+ 2x All-American wrestler
+ 2 KO victories
+ 6 submission wins
+ 3 first-round finishes
+ Solid pace and pressure
+ Tricky feints and footwork
^ Variates looks and levels
+ Improved boxing
+ Dynamic kicking attack
^ Functional from both sides
+ Superb wrestling ability
+ Diverse takedown game
^ Chains trips, singles and double-legs
+ Excellent transitional grappler
^ Creative flow/positionally aware

Summary:

In a fun bantamweight fight, Marlon Moraes meets Aljamain Sterling.

After fighting just four weeks ago, Moraes is making a quick turnaround to competition to step in for an injured Rani Yahya. Coming off two tightly contested split-decision results, I suspect Moraes is looking to remind the masses of his standing at 135 pounds.

Sterling, who has had lofty expectations put upon him since entering the organization, has also been trying to put space in between him and close scorecards. And after a clean victory over the former champ Renan Barao, Sterling is seeking to make another statement here.

In recent outings, the product of the Serra-Longo fight team has shown to make measurable strides in his striking game.

With his funk-style of wrestling following him into his striking endeavors, Sterling would bust out of the gates as an awkward stick-and-move stylist. But after a few years of valuable lessons and experiences, we have seen Sterling get much more comfortable in expressing his growth as of late.

Continually switching his stances while moving laterally, Sterling makes himself hard to read. Incorporating his fair share of feints, Sterling works his way into the fight behind a wall of dynamic kicking variety.

From his snapping front kicks and traditional teeps to his Thai kicks parlayed into sidekicks, Sterling can execute attacks soundly from either stance. Addressing the criticisms of his game at boxing range, Sterling has shown upgrades to his pocket presence.

Attaching more purpose (as well as punches) to his trunk movements, Sterling will slip strikes to fire back return offerings of his own. That said, Sterling still tends to keep his hands low, which make striking exchanges as compelling as they are dangerous given who he is facing.

Enter Moraes.

A former champion in the now-defunct WSOF, Moraes has also had high hopes put upon him since his arrival to the big show. A well-versed striker who came up training with Edson Barboza from a young age, it is not hard to see why so many are excited about Moraes.

A fighter whose feet you seldom find out of position, Moraes keeps an excellent balance to his attack and approach. Carrying a speed advantage over most of his contemporaries, Moraes stays light on his toes while always ready to engage.

Working behind a healthy dose of feints, the Brazilian will prod with his jab to initiate exchanges. Typically looking to land his patented leg kicks, Moraes will also mix in switch-kicks to the body as well as head kicks to keep his opposition honest.

What is most impressive about Moraes’ kicking ability is the fact that he maintains his balance and defensive hand-position while executing his assaults. These attributes also make it easier for Moraes to counter, as he seemingly keeps his right cross and check-hooks at the ready.

Still, Moraes is not beyond having his kicks caught and countered himself, as that may be something worth watching for considering the dynamic of this matchup.

The longer this fight stays standing, Moraes should have the decided edge on paper; which is why I suspect that Sterling will be changing gears and getting back to his wrestling roots for this one.

Sterling, a two-time All-American wrestler, has a diverse array of takedowns in his arsenal. From reactive shots in the open to his chaining ability in the clinch, Sterling will pose some interesting threats.

With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how Moraes fairs in this style of matchup.

Whether it be by destiny or design, Moraes has not had a lot of opponents push a grappling-heavy agenda in recent bouts. Nevertheless, the Brazilian still shows an underrated wrestling game that has only improved since moving shop to the United States.

Following Barboza to train with Mark Henry and company in New Jersey, Moraes appears even more comfortable inside of the scramble – as I’m sure training with fighters like Frankie Edgar helps. Moraes also has fast feet and hips, which come in handy for shutting down many of the shot attempts thrown his way.

When he is taken down, Moraes is quick to threaten with a submission or scramble back to his feet. But he will need to extra careful in those spaces with Sterling, who typically makes his money in transit.

Once touching down on the mat, Sterling’s funky flow comes to life. Melding his wrestling base into his innovative jiu-jitsu, Sterling will combine things like chair-sits to leg weaves and rides, seamlessly climbing the walls of his opponent’s defenses.

Not afraid to jump on a back, Sterling has also shown to be content in punishing opponent’s positionally, landing solid ground strikes when submissions are not available. Should the Serra-Longo fighter get his game going on the floor, then it could be a rough night for his Brazilian counterpart.

Despite the short-notice intangibles, the oddsmakers and public are slightly favoring Moraes at -140 with Sterling +120 as of this writing.

As one of the more vocal supporters of Moraes’ game, I can certainly see why. He should carry a sizeable striking edge to go along with his speed, and I could see his shot selection and accuracy either severely hurting Sterling or taking him off of his game.

However, the quick turnaround from a competitive three-round fight makes me uneasy. Not so much for Moraes’ health, but more so for the performance considering what we have seen in these scenarios before. Furthermore, there is not enough evidence – at least for my liking – to suggest that Sterling won’t be a bad matchup for the Brazilian (which he just might be).

Sterling’s wrestling base and unique style could prove frustrating for Moraes, whose displayed moments of frustration in his last two bouts. If the Brazilian fails to take Sterling off of his game or ends up on the floor early, then I feel that the more likely outcome here is the Long Island resident getting his hand raised after what should be a competitive affair.

Official pick: Sterling by decision

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Expect more quick turnarounds from Marlon Moraes, who wants hard road to the top

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FRESNO, Calif. – Former WSOF champ Marlon Moraes was a poster boy for his previous organization, but now, he’s just one of the guys. Perfect, says the Brazilian bantamweight.

“I want to be part of the UFC, and I want to work my way up,” Moraes told MMAjunkie. “I’m very happy working my way up. When things come so easy, sometimes you don’t appreciate them.

“I want to work for it. If one day, I become a star, I’m going to say I am, but I worked for it. I’m here because I deserve it.”

Moraes came to the UFC earlier this year on an impressive 13-fight winning streak that included a perfect 11-0 mark in WSOF. But “Magic” hasn’t found the going quite as easy in the sport’s largest promotion, debuting with a split-decision loss to Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212 and then edging out a split-decision win over John Dodson at November’s UFC Fight Night 120 event.

Moraes said his first few fights brought exactly what he expected.

“I knew it was going to be hard,” Moraes said. “The UFC is the toughest competition in the world in mixed martial arts. I was in WSOF, and I had a couple of tough fights, but not like UFC. UFC are the best fighters. I’ve had two fights, and two tough opponents.

“I knew it was going to be like that. I knew the UFC, you go out there with somebody, and you never know who is going to win. You’ve just got to be prepared. You’ve got to train hard and perform. With Assuncao, it was a close fight, and he won. With Dodson, it was a close fight, but I won. That’s it. Now I’m ready, and Saturday night, I’m pretty sure I’m going to put on a great performance.”

Saturday is when Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) faces Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 123. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.

It will be just four weeks after Moraes’ decision win over Dodson, but the 29-year-old said he was thrilled to get a shot at a quick return when Sterling’s original opponent, Rani Yahya, was forced from the card.

“I was healthy,” Moraes said. “I’ve got to be honest with you, it’s always been my dream to be in the UFC because of that. There’s such a lot of opportunities. You can fight more than three times in a year, more than five if you can. When that opportunity came, I said, ‘Of course I want the fight.’

“I’m healthy. I just fought. I’m in great shape. I’m just going to keep doing what I love. I’m going to keep sparring. Anyway, Saturday, I was going to be in the gym sparring, so now I’m here. I’m going to fight.”

And it’s a big fight in the 135-pound division. Moraes currently sits at No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, while Sterling checks in at No. 12. In the UFC’s official list, both sit in the top-10.

“He’s good everywhere,” Moraes said of his opponent. “He’s a dangerous fighter everywhere in the game – on the ground especially, in the wrestling, on the feet, very sneaky. Man, it’s the UFC; what are you going to expect from an opponent? The best of the best.

“It’s a tough fight for both of us. The one that’s going to be able to capitalize on the other one’s mistakes, that’s who’s going to win.”

It’s a challenging assignment, without a doubt. But facing a ranked opponent on short notice is no bother to Moraes. Quite the opposite, in fact – it’s his ambition.

“I don’t want easy fights,” Moraes said. “I want to be in there with the best guys. I want to have this in my record: ‘Man, he fought this guy. He fought that guy. He fought all the top-10 guys.’ This is what I want. I want to put on a show, I want to fight these guys.

“One day I’m going to have an opportunity to fight up there (for the title), but right now, I”m working my way to the top in the UFC.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Aljamain Sterling gets Marlon Moraes as UFC-Fresno replacement opponent

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Aljamain Sterling has been in need of a replacement opponent, and he’s found one in Marlon Moraes.

A bantamweight fight between Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) and Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is set for UFC Fight Night 123, people with knowledge of the situation told MMAjunkie. The people requested anonymity because the UFC had yet to make an announcement.

Sterling originally was slated to face Rani Yahya at the FS1-televised event Dec. 9 in Fresno, Calif., until Yahya was forced out because of injury. Moraes will be making a quick turnaround after picking up a split decision over John Dodson last week at UFC Fight Night 120.

Sterling, No. 12 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings, brings a two-fight winning streak to the cage after decisions over former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao and top Brazilian prospect Augusto Mendes. Six of his 14 career wins have come by way of submission, including four by rear-naked choke, though all were prior to his UFC run.

Sterling had been hoping to land a fight with No. 5 Jimmie Rivera, who remains in need of a replacement opponent for UFC 219 after ex-champ Dominick Cruz withdrew because of injury. Moraes wanted the same and used his post-fight interview last week for an impassioned plea to step in and fight Rivera.

As it turns out, it’ll be Sterling and Moraes going at each other instead.

With the addition, UFC Fight Night 123 now includes:

  • Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega
  • Marlon Moraes vs. Aljamain Sterling
  • Liz Carmouche vs. Alexis Davis
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Eryk Anders vs. Markus Perez
  • Trevin Giles vs. Antonio Braga Neto
  • Carls John de Tomas vs. Alex Perez
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
  • Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders
  • Merab Dvalishvili vs. Frankie Saenz
  • Benito Lopez vs. Albert Morales
  • Gabriel Benitez vs. Jason Knight

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie