World Series of Fighting 4 took place earlier this month and the bantamweight co-main event between Marlon Moraes and Brandon Hempleman proved to be an exhilarating display of action. It was the kind of war which defines warrior spirit.
Moraes and Hempleman put every ounce of effort they had into the brawl in which Moraes saw his hand raised for the third time with the promotion after all was said and done. But, no matter what Moraes threw Hempleman’s way, he refused to quit.
The two traded blows at a lightning fast pace and pressed the action early. Moraes drew blood early in the first cutting Hempleman’s forehead. Blood began to trickle down his face and his nose was also bleeding. Hempleman did everything within his power to get the better of the exchanges, but Moraes was able to inflict more damage and took home the victory.
The key to Moraes’ win derived from his Muay Thai background. The native Brazilian battered Hempleman with a massive amount of low leg kicks that chopped away at his lead leg. With a left leg that was obviously wounded, Hempleman continued to do everything within his power to battle Moraes, showing a tremendous amount of heart in the scrap.
When it came time for Brandon Hempleman to take a stand and show the world who he is, his perseverance, tenacity and undying will stood out above else. Some pondered as to why Moraes couldn’t finish the onslaught he started in the first. And now that the dust has settled and Hempleman has had time to reflect on the fight, “Hot Rod” told MMA Fight Corner that he wanted to make it clear that he and Marlon put everything they had into that brawl.
“I think he hit me with everything but the kitchen sink and then I didn’t go down, and he didn’t have any more to offer,” said Hempleman.
“I knew I wasn’t getting out of that fight without getting a little dinged up, so I was pretty prepared for that and I did everything I said was going to do,” Hempleman said. “He didn’t fight the way I thought he would. He was just as good as I thought he’d be. Marlon’s a great fighter and he had some killer kicks.”
A broken fibula was the result of those kicks for Hempleman. The Idaho native hopes to be back to training in 6 weeks and is confident that WSOF will find him a fight on a future card. In his next effort, Hempleman is looking forward to mixing up his training and is currently looking for different camps to prepare out of in effort to diversify his skill set.
“I’m planning on doing a little more traveling,” said Hempleman. “I have a great team here locally, but it’s apparent now after that fight that I think I need to branch out a little bit. I didn’t have anybody like Marlon to spar or train for. I didn’t really train specifically for Marlon. Like, I thought I was, but after the fight I can see I wasn’t prepared for his Muay Thai style. I definitely think I need to get out and find a little bit of something else to go along with what I already got.”
Against Marlon, Hempleman said he was taken out of his element once he became the counter-striker and was put on the defensive. Regardless, Hempleman remains proud of his first effort on a big stage and is looking forward to getting back in the cage as soon as he is healed up.
“It was hard to even explain the feeling,” Hempleman said. “It was the best feeling that I probably ever had in my life – just the endorphins and the emotions and the way everything kicks in. [My leg] wasn’t even pain, pain wouldn’t be the way to describe it. I mean it hurt. Every time I took a step I could feel it, but I was really desperate to finish that fight. The whole time I was thinking I got to get closer, I got to get closer.”
Unfortunately that night, Hempleman didn’t realize his ultimate goal of being victorious. Based on his performance against Moraes, we can all expect to see the bantamweight prospect back soon and with a vengeance.