Zorobabel Moreira returns this October after a two-year absence, as the former 155-pound title challenger is booked to face Koji Ando at ONE FC: Battle of Lions, according to a report on Friday by The Fight Nation.
Moreira (7-2) established himself as ONE FC’s top lightweight in the promotion’s early days by beating Andy Wang, Felipe Enomoto, and Roger Huerta, but he was surprisingly stopped by Kotetsu Boku in the third round of a fight that had the inaugural 155-pound title on the line.
That was two years ago. Afterwards, Moreira went on a sabbatical and spent some time back in his native Brazil, but he returned to Evolve MMA recently and is coming off a stoppage win in a Muay Thai fight in Thailand.
His opponent on Nov. 7 will be former Legend FC lightweight champion Ando (10-3), who burst onto the scene with a quick-fire submission win over previously undefeated Brazilian Rafael Nunes at ONE FC: War of Dragons.
If Ando can defeat Moreira, he will be a very strong contender to face reigning ONE FC lightweight champion Shinya Aoki because he is already riding a four-fight winning streak, which includes a victory over 145-pound titleholder Jadamba Narantungalag.
Moreira trains alongside Aoki at Evolve MMA in Singapore, so cannot challenge for the belt while the Japanese fighter is champion, but he remains one of the top fighters in the division and will be looking to bounce back after the unexpected defeat to Boku.
ONE FC: Battle of Lions is headlined by a middleweight title fight between Leandro Ataides and Igor Svirid. It will be broadcast in Asia on Fox Sports 3 and available to purchase online for 9.99 USD from: http://www.onefc.livesport.tv/.
(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter)