Who will win Saturday’s main event between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes?
Cole Henry, Host – MMA Scope Podcast
My pick here is Marlon Moraes. The first fight was very close and could have gone either way and I think that will be the case this time as well but in Moraes’ favor. Assuncao has been robbed of his title shot for years now and he deserves one but Moraes has been competing on a very high level. His last two wins have come via devastating KO’s and that is somewhat rare for the bantamweight division. I am not sure that he will finish Assuncao, but I do think he will be diverse enough on the feet and good enough to avoid the ground and defeat him via unanimous decision.
Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner
Raphael Assuncao is my pick to win this fight. Assuncao’s last loss was to TJ Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes’ last loss was to Assuncao. I’ll go with the simple math on this one. I don’t know what has changed in Marlon Moraes’ game but I don’t think it’s what he thinks it is to propel him to a win and eventual title shot.
Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
I’m going with Moraes by decision in a close fight. I think this is going to be a tight one and Moraes will pull off the close win, possibly by getting a late takedown to steal one of the rounds. I think it’ll be a really competitive fight with both guys trying to find the right balance between aggression and caution and Moraes squeaks out a close win.
Christian Moore, MMATorch Contributor
I believe this is a fight that could go either way, and I originally saw it as a title eliminator, with the winner getting TJ Dillashaw, but clearly, that probably isn’t the case as Cejudo gets the next crack. However, a loss for either, especially Assuncao knocks him way out of the title picture. Assuncao is a very boring fighter, and not entertain in the slightest. While the exciting Moraes could bounce back in one fight, it would take Assuncao quite a while to get back there. So my gut tells my Assuncao holds him down and gets the decision, however, being a longer fight, Assuncao could gas leading the powerful Moraes to get the KO. I believe to win this Moraes needs the KO, and could get it, but I still lean towards Assuncao.
Gary Meigs, MMATorch Contributor
I’m going with the younger fighter here in Marlon Moraes. With the slight reach advantage, I see this matchup being even at one apiece and hopefully, we see the trilogy ending.
Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor
Since they last fought in 2017, neither fighter has lost, and both have looked good in their wins. I would argue that Moraes has had the stronger schedule in his three fights since the Assuncao fight. He holds a decision win over John Dodson and first-round knockouts of Aljamain Sterling and Jimmie Rivera. Assuncao has a third-round knockout of Matthew Lopez and a decision win over Rob Font. They fought a close fight the first time around, so I see no reason why Moraes doesn’t get the job done on Saturday, continuing his winning streak. I’m calling for a Moraes decision win in Saturday’s main event.