New breed vs. newer breed!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight standouts Sergio Pettis and Brandon Moreno take the helm this Saturday evening (Aug. 5, 2017) when the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) league returns to Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico, for UFC Fight Night 114, which will air live on FOX Sports 1.
The co-main event sees local favorite Alexa Grasso attempt to rebound from her first-ever defeat against Randa Markos, while Alan Jouban faces Niko Price in what could be a terrific Welterweight brawl.
UFC Fight Night 114 features six “Prelims” undercard matches, two on Fight Pass and the rest on FOX Sports 1. Here’s what your subscription gets you.
125 lbs.: Joseph Morales vs. Roberto Sanchez
Joseph Morales (8-0) — the latest young gun out of Team Alpha Male — made his amateur debut at 18 years young, racking up a 6-0-1 record before jumping to the pros in 2014. Seven wins and a regional title earned him a crack on Dana White’s “Lookin’ for a Fight,” which he made the most of with a comeback knockout of veteran Sean Santella.
At 22, he is more than eight years his opponent’s junior.
Roberto Sanchez (7-0) has spent the entirety of his 2.5-year professional career under the Legacy FC banner, ultimately fighting for the LFA title in June. Jerome Rivera’s undefeated record didn’t daunt him, as “Little Fury” picked up his sixth consecutive submission win and the promotion’s Flyweight belt.
He owns four wins by rear-naked choke and another two by armbar.
Morales has definitely got the goods. He’s slick as can be on the mat and showed some significant power against Santella. The key issue is defense — Santella cracked him good right off the bat and Josh Paiva, whom Morales won the aforementioned title against, took him down repeatedly before running afoul of his triangle series.
Sanchez looks to have somewhat stronger positional control and enough wrestling to get Morales on his back. If Morales is as content to play guard until a submission opportunity arises as he was against Paiva, expect Sanchez to spend enough time on top to eke out a decision.
Prediction: Sanchez via split decision
155 lbs.: Alvaro Herrera vs. Jordan Rinaldi
Alvaro Herrera (9-4) — representing Team Escudero — came up short in the quarterfinals of The Ultimate Fighter: “Latin America” 2, though he did manage to knock out semifinalist Vernon Ramos in thirty seconds in UFC itself. He faced a stiffer test his next time out in the surging Vicente Luque, falling by submission late in the second round.
He owns five wins by (technical) knockout and another three by submission.
After losing to Joe Proctor on TUF 15, Jordan Rinaldi (12-5) hit a 2-4 skid before putting together five straight wins. He stepped up on short notice to face Abel Trujillo at UFC Fight Night 88 and, though he withstood “Killa’s” punching power, lost by unanimous decision.
This will be his first fight in 14 months.
Herrera’s got some solid power, but not much else going for him. He gassed inside of a round against Luque, although that could have been due to Luque’s effective body kicks, and his takedown defense was woefully inadequate. I don’t expect that to change at Lightweight, especially with the aforementioned stamina issues.
Rinaldi can take a shot, grapples well and is quick enough on the feet to avoid Herrera’s big right hand. He mixes takedowns and strikes before ultimately tapping his fading foe late in the second.
Prediction: Rinaldi via second-round submission
Four more UFC Fight Night 114 “Prelims” bouts to preview and predict tomorrow, including several TUF: “Latin America” alums and Brad Scott vs. Jack Hermansson in the featured undercard match. See you there, Maniacs!
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 114 card on fight night, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the FOX Sports 1 main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.