Right now, the UFC’s flyweight division consists of less fighters than there are students in the average Introduction to Genetics and Evolution class at Kentucky Mountain Bible College. And while this doesn’t exactly provide fans with a plethora of matchups to get excited about, it does provide several of the division’s fighters with a short path to a title shot. Take John Moraga, for instance, the flyweight fighter sporting a 2-0 UFC record who was announced earlier today as the next challenger to Demetrious Johnson’s throne. Moraga will be given a chance to shock the world in the main event of the upcoming TUF 17 Finale, which transpires from the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 13th.
To be fair, Moraga has about as impressive a two fight (UFC) win streak as you can have, especially given the size of the pond he is swimming in. After knocking out the highly-touted former Tachi Palace Fights champion, Ulysses Gomez, in his promotional debut, Morega scored a third round come-from-behind submission victory over experienced octagon vet Chris Cariaso at UFC 155. In fact, the only loss you’d find on the 14 fight record of Moraga dates back to December of 2010 and came, ironically enough, to the last man that was defeated by “Mighty Mouse,” John Dodson. Like we said, it’s a(n appropriately) small pond.
So this is a bit of an odd pairing, sure, but if Moraga’s debut performance was any indication, the dude can trade with the best of them and has some devastating KO power to boot. But as was the case with Dodson, this fight won’t be a question of when Moraga lands, but if he can land when dealing with the inhuman speed of Johnson.
Also scheduled for the TUF 17 Finale…
Gabriel Gonzaga. Trust me, that name feels just as weird to write as it does to read. The master of surrealist video art who announced his retirement from the sport after getting axed by the UFC back in 2010 has returned a renewed fighter, collecting three straight (two in the UFC) victories by submission, otherwise known as the things Gonzaga was always really good at but refused to use during his first run in the octagon. “Napao” most recently strangled the life out of Ben Rothwell in the first round of their scrap at UFC on FX 7. Standing across the cage from Gonzaga will be a hard hitting heavyweight with a solid submission game in Travis Browne, who saw a three fight win streak snapped by the surging Antonio Silva back at UFC on FX 5 in October.
Who do you like for these, Potato Nation?