Despite his worldwide success and championship-level pedigree, it’s been a rough go for Marlon Moraes as of late. He enters tonight’s contest with six straight losses, and he’ll need a big performance in order to have any sort of shot at reaching the 2023 PFL Playoffs at featherweight. A former bantamweight champion in the World Series of Fighting, “Magic” Moraes is 0-2 in the PFL thus far since joining after a brief retirement. Moraes was finished in a showcase bout against Sheymon Moraes at the 2022 PFL World Championship and was finished via leg kicks by defending PFL Featherweight World Champion Brendan Loughnane.
The son of Diego Brava Alves, Gabriel Braga has the opposite kind of momentum. Braga, a Muay Thai specialist like Moraes, is a perfect 10-0 in his MMA career. After success in regional promotions like LFA and UAE Warriors, Braga scored a victory in March as part of the 2023 PFL Challenger Series. About a month later, Braga defeated Jesus Pinedo via split decision for a good start to his regular season.
Moraes is in a win-or-go-home scenario for his playoff hopes; meanwhile, Braga can earn a playoff spot with a finish in any round.
Braga tries to come forward early, looking to take control of the fight before Moraes can bring the pressure. Moraes throws a body kick, but Braga attacks his body in return. Moraes going upstairs with some quick strikes. Moraes delivers a three-punch combination, as leg kicks from Moraes are leaving their mark on Braga. Moraes attempts to lock Braga up, but he’s able to step back.
Braga tries to work his distance, but Moraes lands a high kick that stuns Braga as he gets inside. But Braga recovers and catches Moraes with a one-two! Braga lands a low kick before dropping Moraes with a big right hand to the face! Follow-up hammer fists quickly end the fight, giving Braga a quick-six finish and a featherweight playoff spot!
Following the fight, Moraes laid his PFL gloves in the middle of the SmartCage, announcing his official retirement.
Gabriel Braga def. Marlon Moraes via first-round KO (punch, 3:02)