Marlon Moraes vs. Petr Yan Headlines UFC Kazakhstan in June
By Ross Markey
A potential bantamweight title-eliminator is expected to serve as the headlining bout for UFC Fight Night Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan on June 13th. – as one-time title challenger, ‘Magic’ Marlon Moraes meets with Petr ‘No Mercy’ Yan.
The event will mark the promotion’s first visit to Kazakhstan – and according to MMA Junkie writer, Farah Hannoun, both Moraes and Yan have verbally agreed to clash in the night’s headliner.
Former WSOF bantamweight best, Moraes, has been overlooked for the next shot at 135-pound gold – despite picking up a razor-thin win over former featherweight best José Aldo last time out. Moraes and Aldo battled to the distance last December – but champion Henry Cejudo will instead meet Aldo in the headliner of UFC 250 in May.
Since his move to the promotion back in 2017, Moraes has managed six wins and two losses – avenging a controversial decision defeat to Raphael Assunção in the process. The 31-year-old Nova Friburgo native has also lodged highlight reel wins over Aljamain Sterling, and Jimmie Rivera, as well as a close win over former two-time flyweight title hopeful, John Dodson.
27-year-old boxing ace, Yan, has amassed six straight wins in the UFC to remain undefeated since 2016. The Russian recently battered former WEC featherweight champion and sport veteran, Urijah ‘The California Kid’ Faber as UFC 245 to earn the #3 rank at 135-pounds.
Yan has also managed wins over Jimmie Rivera, and the aforementioned Dodson since his first Octagon walk back in the summer of 2018. Yan is revealed as one of the most polished boxers in mixed-martial-arts today – with the victor of the June bout likely cementing their status as the next incoming title challenger.
UFC Fight Night Nur-Sultan takes place on June 13th. from the Astana Arena in Kazakhstan – and features a light heavyweight meeting between Khadis Ibragimov and Roman Dolidze. In flyweight action, Jordan Espinosa matches with Zhalgas Zhumagulov.
Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC & Esther Lin – MMA Fighting