Our second PFL World Championship repeat attempt begins tonight as 2022 PFL World Champion Brendan Loughnane takes on MMA staple and former bantamweight title challenger Marlon Moraes. Moraes has a win over current MMA champion Aljamain Sterling and Featherweight legend Jose Aldo. With two prolific finishers meeting in the SmartCage, this main event is guaranteed to produce fireworks.
The bout begins and it’s Loughnane on the front foot early, fighting behind his jab. Both men are trying to find the range and Loughnane is the noticeably bigger man in the SmartCage as Moraes lands a heavy inside low kick.
Moraes continues to attack the lead leg of Loughnane as Loughnane fires back and lands a heavy calf kick of his own. Both fighters trade low kicks as Moraes just misses with a big right hand. Now it’s Loughnane banking heavy leg kicks as Moraes is forced to switch stances and return fire.
Moraes throws a spinning backfist but can’t connect as Loughnane lands a heavy leg kick and Moraes seems to be having some trouble putting weight on his lead leg. We get a brief pause for an accidental clash of heads before Loughnane is right back to peppering low kicks.
Loughnane is scoring early as Moraes is throwing big but can’t connect and the damage to the legs of Moraes seems to be mounting as Loughnane lands a big Right hand that wobbles Moraes! Loughnane smells blood with 40 seconds to go and kicks the legs out from under Moraes, sweeping him clean off his feet!
Loughnane is showing killer instinct here, stalking a clearly hurt opponent as Moraes will limp back to his corner to end the opening round. Keith Peterson brings the doctor out to examine Moraes but we’ll fight on!
Moraes blitzes early, perhaps recognizing his best bet is to land an early killshot before Loughnane can get back to chewing up his legs. Loughnane is using great lateral movement here as Moraes is throwing gas with everything here, slowing down after just a minute of action.
We should see Loughnane start to put it together here as Moraes lands a nice uppercut but Loughnane lands another heavy leg kick and that will be a Fab Five for Loughnane as Moraes cannot get back to his feet and the referee calls the fight.
Brendan Loughnane begins his 2023 World Championship chase with an emphatic leg kick TKO of Marlon Moraes
Brendan Loughnane def. Marlon Moraes by second round TKO (Leg kick, 1:11)