Moraes comes out of retirement to sign with PFL

Sports

Former UFC bantamweight title challenger Marlon Moraes has decided to come out of retirement, and will do so under a new multi-fight deal with PFL.

In addition to the new deal, Moraes (23-10-1) has agreed to a featherweight matchup against Shane Burgos (15-3) on the promotion’s tournament finals card later this year. Multiple sources told ESPN contracts have not been signed for the bout, but verbal agreements are in place. The PFL has not announced an official date or location for the event, although it is expected to take place in November.

Moraes, 34, walked away from the sport earlier this year following a four-fight skid in the Octagon, but figures to be a prominent new face in the PFL’s season format. He is actually returning to his former home, in a sense. Moraes was a 135-pound champion at World Series of Fighting, which was rebranded into the PFL in 2017.

Originally from Brazil and now fighting out of Florida, Moraes came within one win of becoming a UFC champion in June 2019, when he came up short in a vacant title bid against challenger Henry Cejudo. He went on to drop four of his next five, although he was fighting the very best of his weight class in the likes of Song Yadong, Merab Dvalishvili, Rob Font and Cory Sandhagen.

Burgos, of New York, also signed a new deal with PFL this year. The 31-year-old fought exclusively in the UFC from 2106 to 2022. He has fought some of the top names of the division during his career. Following his signing with PFL, UFC president Dana White went so far as to admit the promotion made an error in not keeping Burgos on its roster.

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