Five-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion Daniel Moraes and his brother Diego Moraes have an active role in the training of some big-time UFC fighters. The Royler Gracie black belts are in charge of the grappling program at Roufusport MMA, the academy of K-1 veteran Duke Roufus, where they work with athletes like Scott Jorgensen, Alan Belcher, Erik Koch and Anthony Pettis. Both Koch and Pettis will fight on the Jan. 26 UFC on Fox 6 card.
Diego, 27, will be accompanying both fighters in their matches — Koch against Ricardo Lamas and Pettis against Donald Cerrone. From the buzz surrounding the fight, Pettis-Cerrone will determine the next man to challenge for the UFC lightweight belt, currently held by Benson Henderson.
“Anthony is incredibly talented. He truly lives up to his nickname, ‘Showtime’,” said Moraes in a press release. “He’s really confident in his game. I see this fight playing out on the feet, as both are great standing, and I’ll put my money on Pettis getting the knockout. And if it goes to the ground, he’ll be prepared. I’m ironing out some details, and he’s going to be awesome in there.”
Back in the octagon for the first time since defeating Jonathan Brookins in September 2011, Koch has a dangerous fighter in Lamas ahead of him. To Diego, the fight will be an excellent test for his student, who had previously been tabbed to challenge Jose Aldo at the October 2012 UFC in Rio before he was pulled from the card due to injury.
“Lamas is a really tough kid,” Moraes said. “He’s going through an excellent phase, and it will be a great challenge for Erik. He’s aching to win and get another shot at the divisional belt. It was really sad for the whole team when he was unable to face Aldo in Rio, but you’ve got to keep looking ahead. Koch is going to put on a show.”
In 2012, the Moraes brothers inaugurated their team, Team Moraes, located in the Ilha do Governador borough of Rio de Janeiro City.
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