Marlon Moraes and World Series of Fighting appear to have parted ways, as the vacant bantamweight strap will be one of three titles on the line at the promotion’s next event on March 18.
The organization announced Friday that WSOF 35 will take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y., and will be headlined by a heavyweight championship clash between Blagoy Ivanov and Shawn Jordan. In the co-main event, Lance Palmer will defend his featherweight crown against Andre Harrison, while Timur Valiev and Bekbulat Magomedov will vie for the vacant 135-pound hardware in the evening’s third featured contest.
The WSOF 35 main card will be televised on NBC Sports Network beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT, while the preliminary draw will stream on WSOF.com at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Moraes won 11 consecutive fights under the WSOF banner, capturing the promotion’s inaugural bantamweight crown with a five-round verdict against Josh Rettinghouse in March 2014. Moraes’ first-round stoppage of Josenaldo Silva at WSOF 34 on Dec. 31 marked the final bout on his most recent contract with the promotion. The 28-year-old Brazilian all but confirmed his departure via Twitter.
“I want to thank [WSOF] for this amazing run and all of the support they’ve given me,” he wrote.
After a five-fight stint with Bellator MMA, Ivanov has won three straight in WSOF, including a five-round verdict over Josh Copeland in his most recent outing at WSOF 31. A 10-time UFC veteran, Jordan’s promotional debut came in a first-round TKO triumph over Ashley Gooch at WSOF 33.
Palmer lost his featherweight title to Alexandre Almeida in a five-round verdict at WSOF 26 but regained the belt with a majority decision victory over his Brazilian rival at WSOF 32 this past July. Harrison is a former Titan FC champion who debuted with a first-round submission triumph of Bruce Boyington at WSOF 34.
Valiev is 11-2 as a professional and 5-1 in the WSOF cage, including a unanimous decision win over Chris Gutierrez -- the last man to beat him -- in his most recent outing. Magomoedov rebounded from a loss in his first WSOF foray to outpoint Jesse Brock in his last appearance at WSOF 33.