Sergio Pettis met John Moraga in a rare “Winner vs. Loser” match up in the main card opener of UFC Fight Night 103: "Rodriguez vs. Penn," which took place tonight (Jan. 15, 2017) inside Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, live on FOX Sports 1.
Moraga — a perennial Top 10-ranked fighter -- had lost two straight coming into this bout. Conversely, Pettis had two wins at his back and was looking to build momentum for a potential 125-pound title run.
Moraga held the hometown crowd’s support — his face wore a serious expression as the fight began — opening the bout with an inside leg kick against the southpaw. Pettis pressed forward, landing a rear straight. Moraga landed a couple overhands, then dove for underhooks in the clinch. He pressed Pettis against the cage briefly. Pettis was landing straight punches inside of Moraga’s swings. He opened up with a couple of kicks. Pettis switched stances, then returned to southpaw and landed a three-punch combination. They exchanged, and Moraga seemed to rock Pettis briefly. Pettis landed a reactive takedown, which Moraga countered with a guillotine attempt. They returned to their feet, and Pettis hit a nice one-two combination. Moraga threw a body kick, then they snapped each others’ heads back almost simultaneously. Moraga seemed the rocked one, and Pettis — pressing forward — dropped him with a hard straight just before the round ended.
In the second round, Moraga opened with hands, but Pettis countered him with a sharp left. They were both landing in exchanges. Moraga shot, and Pettis looked to jump for a guillotine but it slipped and he ended on his back. Moraga stood over him, and Pettis leaped back to his feet. Moraga threw heavy leather that connected. Pettis pivoted out from a takedown attempt. Sergio began giving Moraga different looks. Moraga grabbed a leg and pressed Pettis into the fence for a moment. He shot again, and Pettis grabbed another guillotine, then switched to underhooks and got away. Pettis threw a jump switch kick that landed on the arms.
Sergio pressed forward at the start of round three, but Moraga landed a nice hook over his lead hand. Each fighter looked most dangerous on the counter. Pettis put together a nice combination. Moraga dove for a takedown, then pressed Sergio to the fence. He got a bodylock and picked Sergio up for a lateral drop, landing it well. From the top, he looked for some ground and pound, before dropped for a heel hook. Pettis took top position, escaping and getting to half guard. He almost took the back but Moraga regained his feet. Pettis pressed him against the cage, looking for a takedown of his own. Moraga defended, almost spun to the back, but they split and reset in the center. Pettis landed a nice combination, and then in the last exchange ducked under to finish the fight on top.
Final result: Pettis won via unanimous decision, 30-27 and 29-28x2
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