Sunday night, flyweight John Moraga and Sergio Pettis fought inside the octagon. Here is how it played out
The main card of UFC Fight Night 103 from Phoenix, Arizona got underway with a flyweight fight between Phoenix native John Moraga and Sergio Pettis. Entering the fight, Moraga was the UFC’s eighth ranked flyweight. While the 23-year old Pettis was ranked 15th.
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Since winning the flyweight title in September 2012, Demetrious Johnson has dominated the division. Johnson has made nine successful title defences in a row. Since Johnson has already defeated most of the flyweight division, both fighters can get into the title picture by putting together a winning streak.
Moraga was defeated by Johnson in July, 2013. Since then the 32-year old fighter has gone just 3-3. Moraga is on a two fight losing streak and has not won since December 2014. Moraga has a career record of 16-5, with two knockouts and eight submission victories. Moraga accepted the fight with Pettis with only a few weeks notice. A loss to Pettis could see Moraga begin a free fall out of the UFC flyweight rankings. Moraga weighed in a pounder heavier than Pettis. But Pettis has a three-inch reach advantage.
Sergio Pettis turned pro as an 18-year old. In his five-year career, Pettis is 14-2 record with three knockout and three submission victories. Pettis is on a two fight winning streak, and has won four of his past five fights. A victory over Moraga would put him another win or two from title contention.
John Moraga receives a loud cheer from the Phoenix crowd after Bruce Buffer announces that he is fighting out of Phoenix. Both fighters touch gloves to start round one.
Moraga opens the fight by landing a right hand and following it up shortly afterwards with a leg kick. Pettis and Moraga exchange leg kicks. Moraga counters with a right hand but fails to connect. Pettis lands his own left hand and counters again with his left hand after Moraga misses.
Moraga lands a combo. But Pettis responds by attempting a head kick, and has a second kick blocked by Moraga. Pettis lands a strike, but Moraga lands a combination. Following a clinch, Pettis lands a big combo and the action begins to pick up. Moraga lands a kick and a right-handed counter. Pettis closes the round strong with a combination. Pettis sends Moraga to the ground with the biggest punch of the round, right as the bell goes.
FanSided scores it: 10-9 Pettis
In-between rounds, Moraga’s corner attempted to reduce swelling in his left eye. Pettis opens the second round with a straight left hand. Moraga responds with a left inside leg kick. Moraga takes down Pettis for the first time and lands a left hand. But Pettis gets back to his feet. Moraga lands a three punch combo. Pettis lands a leg kick and blocks another take down attempt. Following a break, Pettis lands a left hand. A third take down attempt by Moraga is blocked.
FanSided scores it: 10-9 Moraga
Pettis controls the opening of the third round with his strikes. Moraga lands a counter to slow down Pettis’ momentum. Pettis misses a spin kick. The crowd really gets loud chanting “Johnny.” Following a clinch against the cage, Moraga lands his second take down and attempts a slicing elbow. Moraga attempts a heel hook, but Pettis reverses the position and gets the back. However, Moraga is able to get to his feet. Pettis lands a body kick and Moraga responds with another take down attempt that is quickly blocked by Pettis. Pettis attempted to block all of Moraga’s take downs with a guillotine. The fighters break and Pettis lands a combo. Moraga responds with his own combo but Pettis counters. Pettis takes down Moraga near the end of the third round.
FanSided scores it: 10-9 Pettis
Official Scorecard: Sergio Pettis defeats John Moraga – Unanimous decision (29-28,29-28, 30-27)
Pettis calls for the Formiga fight to be rebooked. Smart man #UFCPhoenix
In a post-fight interview, Pettis calls for a fight with Jussier Formiga. Pettis was originally scheduled to fight Jussier Formiga on this Phoenix card, but Formiga had to withdraw due to injury. Pettis suggests the two meet in March on the UFC 209 card.