There's a world-class athlete poised to become a world champion who currently lives in Toms River, but it's probably not who you are thinking off.

The top athletes hailing from Toms River who first come to mind are likely UFC standout Frankie Edgar and MLB All-Star Todd Frazier, but there's another guy residing in northeast Ocean County ready to make his mark.

Brazilian native Marlon Moraes, the top contender in the UFC's bantamweight division, is one of mixed martial art's hottest fighters and will look to fulfill his dream of becoming a UFC world champion next month. Moraes will take on Henry Cejudo for the UFC's vacant bantamweight championship at UFC 238 on June 8 in Chicago.

WSOF NYC - Gaethje v Zeferino & Fitch v Shields
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After a great stint in World Series of Fighting where he became the promotion's Bantamweight Champion in 2014 and successfully defended the title four times in an 18-month span, Moraes signed with the UFC in 2017. His promotional debut didn't go his way as he lost a split decision to Raphael Assunção at UFC 212, but since then he has been a one-man wrecking crew. Moraes is 4-0 in his last four fights, including three straight first-round finishes and three straight UFC performance bonuses. He earned revenge on Assunção with a first-round submission (guillotine choke) on Feb. 2 in his home country of Brazil to set himself up for June's championship fight.

Moraes took some times between training at the Nicholas Scott Catone Training Center inside Nick Catone Mixed Martial Arts in Brick to sit down with Shore Sports Network and talk about his upcoming title fight, his start in MMA, training in New Jersey and more.


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