Sometimes you get an offer you just can’t refuse, and for World Series of Fighting standout Cody Bollinger, a detour on his way up in weight to face reigning promotional 135-pound champion Marlon Moraes was such an offer.
“The WSOF called me and really needed somebody to step up – and I like to fight and I like to stay busy – so I asked them if could be a catch-weight and they said yes, so I took the fight,” Bollinger told MMAWeekly.com.
“You get something like this handed to you, it’s hard to say no.”
The fight with Moraes comes after Bollinger picked up back-to-back wins in his first two WSOF bouts at 135 pounds against Tyson Nam and Pablo Alfonzo earlier this year.
“The Tyson fight wasn’t as exciting as I’d want it to be, but I had some things happen before the fight and I just had to kind of push through and get the win,” said Bollinger. “The Pablo fight went really well and I had planned to move up to 145 pounds after that, but I got this call and decided to take a catch-weight bout and try to take care of some business with Marlon.”
(Editor’s Note: The catchweight was originally agreed to be at 140 pounds, but Bollinger had trouble getting down that far. On the day of weigh-ins, the fight was subsequently re-set to 147 pounds.)
Bollinger (16-2) feels that when he faces Moraes (13-4-1) at WSOF 13 on Saturday night in Bethlehem, Penn., that he’ll be best served by pushing the fight and testing his opponent like he hasn’t been tested before.
“He’s got a great manager and has been tested at the right levels, not too much or overwhelming (competition). He’s beaten some good guys, but I don’t think he’s been tested for his last four or five fights,” said Bollinger of Moraes. “It’s a good thing to build the confidence he’s had, but he hasn’t had to question himself during a fight.
“I think (making him question himself) is the key to winning, and if I’m wrong, I’ll end up like the other guys he’s beaten in WSOF. Saturday night I’m not going in there scared or will sit back and let him tear apart my leg – I’m going to go in there and do the best I can and make him question himself and break him.”
While Bollinger can’t win Moraes’ title Saturday night, he still feels a win over such a highly regarded opponent can do nothing but help him moving forward in whatever weight class he settles in.
“Marlon is a tough guy and is ranked really high at 135 pounds, and with me going up to 145 pounds, I don’t know how much it’s going to help me, but just beating him would be a good accomplishment,” said Bollinger. “Maybe someday he’ll move up and we’ll have a rematch or I’ll move down and (a win over him) will help me in the rankings.
“As far as right now, I’m helping out WSOF and want to finish out my contract and then see what they have planned for me.”