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UFC 187 results: Joseph Benavidez grinds out John Moraga in back-and-forth brawl

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Former Flyweight title challengers, Joseph Benavidez and John Moraga, crossed paths tonight (Sat., May 23, 2015) inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, kicking off the UFC 187 pay-per-view (PPV).

And the action got started quick.

Despite eating a huge head kick, Benavidez got Moraga down within the first minute and immediately assumed dominant top control. Moraga struggled to escape, but Benavidez had his neck on lock in side control. Benavidez flipped for a submission, but Moraga bucked out and eventually got back to his feet.

As both men tangled along the cage for position, a crazy scramble -- and then a slam -- once again had Benavidez in control along the bottom of the cage. He was unable to do anything significant, however, as a fast-paced first round came to a close.

To start the second stanza, the pair exchanged leg kicks and appeared a bit more cautious. Moraga landed a nice uppercut and almost took him off his feet with a powerful low kick. And he kept 'em coming, as well as a fake that he followed up with a nice right cross.

Midway through the round an accidental headbutt split Moraga's forehead wide open. The action continued without pause, as Benavidez eventually worked for a takedown along the fence. Benavidez worked his way back into side control, launching stiff elbows into the side of Moraga's head and later into his face.

Benavidez would continue to pour on the pressure until the round concluded.

Third and final round, Moraga's cut was all cleaned up and both fighters looked fresh. Moraga, who is perhaps down on the judges scorecards, came out guns blazing. And Benavidez didn't back down, with both fighters getting into a ferocious fire fight early. Moraga appeared to get the better of the exchange, but it was a furious back-and-forth flurry,

With little more than two minute remaining in the match, Benavidez bulldozed Moraga into that mat and once again began to rain down the punishment. Moraga did little from bottom position, holding Benavidez's neck to slow down the impending strikes.

Moraga attempted to get back to his feet, but Benavidez wouldn't let it happen. Benavidez would continue to control the fight -- just like he did in the first two rounds -- to win a very fun unanimous decision.

For complete results from UFC 187: "Johnson vs. Cormier," including play-by-play updates, click here.

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