Marlon Moraes has lived up to his “Magic” moniker. The fighter began training in Muay Thai at age 9 and went on to achieve national success in his native Brazil, earning two Muay Thai national championships before making the transition to MMA, where he is now signed to the UFC.

Moraes shares his thoughts on training and nutrition, and provides a MMA workout that can be attempted anywhere, with no equipment required.

“I want to show everyone that they all can do a MMA workout, just using their bodyweight, and that’s not anything complicated,” says Moraes, whose typical day of training entails two intense sessions; rotating between sparring, wrestling, and grappling work. Each of his meals will be made up to include 100g of protein and 100g of carbohydrates, along with vegetables.

Between meals, Marlon Moraes will supplement with protein shakes and has taken an interest in the science behind nutrition when making visits to the UFC PI. “We meet with dietitians, with professionals, and they started to introduce us to Thorne,” says Moraes. “Now they have the whole system, where we get to the fight and they give us all the supplements to help with the diet, through fight week, to make weight, and recover with all the vitamins.”

Fighting at 135 pounds, Marlon Moraes shares that creatine has helped him to achieve the speed and stamina that is required to compete at the highest levels. And, with an MMA record of 23-9-1, the 33-year-old also understands that the only way to reach his goals is to give his all to training. The following workout from Moraes, a Thorne spokesperson, has been designed to provide an intense session while also giving you a taster of MMA, including defense and attack. If you wish to modify the program to suit your own fitness level, you can tweak the number of seconds, repetitions, or rounds. Here we go!


UFC fighter and pro-mma fighter Marlon Moraes shadow boxing in the ring
Courtesy of Marlon Moraes

“Before a workout, you’ve got to warm up,” says Moraes, “just to get our blood going and our body moving.”

Arm circles (front and back): 10 reps (both ways) Horizontal triceps stretch: 10 seconds (each arm) Overhead triceps stretch: 10 seconds (each arm) Lateral lunge (reaching toward alternate feet): 10 seconds Lateral stretch (both hands on same shin, feet wider than shoulder width): 10 seconds (each side) Wide-leg forward bend (with feet more than shoulder-width apart, lean forward, and touch the floor with both hands): 10 seconds Jump rope simulation (make small jumps, landing on toes): for 10 seconds High kicks: 5 reps (each leg) Squat jumps: 10 reps

The workout In MMA, your hands always have to be up to protect yourself, so keep your hands up during the workout wherever possible as if you are in a defensive blocking position.

Marlon Moraes MMA Workout — Warmup
Exercise Reps  Notes
Jab 10 seconds * As you are throwing your jab, you keep the [other] hand up.
Cross for 10 seconds Combine both jab, then cross 10 seconds 12 per leg
Jab, then high knee (opposite leg) 5 each side 8, 12, 12
Jab, high knee, then cross 5 each side 8, 12, 12
Jab, kick, then switch stance (one leg is always in front) 5 each side 12
Jab, cross, switch stance, then kick 5 12
Jab, cross, sprawl, and knee 5 * The sprawl is when someone attempts to take you down, and you want to avoid that situation.
The movement is the same as a burpee.
Rest 5 seconds * Make sure to concentrate on breathing
Jab, knee, kick, then switch 5
Jab, cross, knee, then kick 5

Marlon Moraes MMA Workout

3 timed rounds (2 minutes on, 1 minute rest): These two-minute blasts are split into 30-second sections:

Round 1 — Be offensive

(Round 1)
Exercise Reps  Notes
Jab and cross 30 seconds You can stand or move around a little bit.
Sprawl with jab and cross combination 30 seconds
Alternating high knees 30 seconds Right then left, and keep going
Jab, cross, then kick combination 30 seconds
Rest 60 seconds
UFC fighter Marlon Moraes performing the first round of his MMA Workout
Courtesy of Marlon Moraes

Round 2 — Defense

“For this round, by yourself, you can work on the defense and the counters,” says Moraes.

Round 2
Exercise Reps   Notes   
Jab, cross, knee 30 seconds
Leg kicks 30 seconds
Leg kicks (opposite leg) 30 seconds
Jab, cross, sprawl, knee, then kick 30 seconds
Rest 60 seconds
UFC and MMA Fighter Marlon Moraes performing defensive MMA moves for this MMA Workout
Courtesy of Marlon Moraes

Round 3 — Core Focus

“It’s the last round,” Moraes says, “let’s make sure we’re pushing ourselves.”

Round 3
Exercise Reps  Notes
Situps 30 seconds
Alt. leg raises (shoulders off the ground) 30 seconds
Leg raises (both legs): 30 seconds 30 seconds *Try not to let your feet touch the ground.
Pushups 30 seconds
Rest 60 seconds
UFC and MMA Fighter Marlon Moraes performing core exercises for Round 3 of his MMA Workout
Courtesy of Marlon Moraes

Congrats!! You’re done!

“That’s it for the workout,” says Moraes. “Make sure to drink water and your amino complex now!”