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Tag: Demetrious Johnson

Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga’

By Adam Martin

There’s often so much going on during UFC on FOX events that some of the more intriguing storylines get lost amongst all the glamour and glitz of network television. Here are four important themes surrounding UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga that have been flying under the radar heading into this weekend’s show. Let us know what you think, and be sure to come back to CagePotato.com this Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT for our liveblog of the main card.

Is UFC On FOX 8 Make Or Break For The Flyweights?

UFC on FOX 8 is headlined by the flyweight title fight between reigning champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Moraga, and it’s a fight that could help the flyweight division explode if it’s exciting — or hold the division back if it’s a bore.

The last time that 125-pounders headlined an event was at UFC on FOX 6, when Johnson defended his title against John Dodson. The match won “Fight of the Night,” but that might not be the first thing that fans think of when they remember the event. Instead, they think of Anthony Pettis’s body kick KO of Donald Cerrone, or (for less positive reasons) Rampage Jackson’s last Octagon fight against Glover Teixeira.

It may be because flyweight fights so often go to decision, and the fans, especially casual fans, love to see knockouts and submissions. But it’s rare to see true KO power among 125-pound fighters, and the fact that flyweights tend to be extremely quick and nimble makes it harder for submissions to get locked in.

Demetrious Johnson certainly fits this stereotype, as he’s managed to go 27 rounds in his UFC career without securing a single stoppage victory. But Moraga has been an exception to the rule. Both of his Octagon appearances have ended in pleasingly violent finishes. Unfortunately, those finishes — a knockout of Ulysses Gomez at UFC on FOX 4 and a guillotine-choke submission of Chris Cariaso at UFC 155  — were both buried on the opening preliminary bouts of the cards they were on. In other words, even if you attended those events in person, you might have missed them. Despite being a title challenger in a main event fight on FOX, Moraga is still a stranger to most fans.

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[VIDEO] UFC on FOX 8: Road to The Octagon


(Video via UFC’s YouTube page)

The UFC on Fox 8: Road to the Octagon documentary special premiered tonight. If you missed it, we’ve got you covered above with video of the full episode.

The show takes you on the inside the three top fights from this coming Saturday’s big card.

Bobby Voelker fights Robbie Lawler on short notice and gets a chance to get back on the winning track in a huge way. Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald’s silly intense twitter war culminates in an actual fight between top welterweights.

John Moraga challenges Demetrious Johnson for the 125 pound world title and gets the chance to answer the question, “Who is John Moraga?” Even if you weren’t super pumped for this card before, seeing the lives of these guys and their behind the scenes training should get you at least a little amped up.

Sure, you could do something other than sit on your ass for the next forty five minutes. But, you probably won’t. So, enjoy another fun Road to the Octagon special.

- Elias Cepeda

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CagePotato Open Discussion: What Are the Five Best UFC Fights of 2013 So Far?

So UFC.com just released the promotion’s “unofficial” picks for the best five fights of 2013 so far (how that fan fight at UFC 161 didn’t make the list is anyone’s guess), which can only mean that the time of great debate is upon us once again. From hottest pornstar girlfriend to favorite non-Rocky fight film of all time, the past couple of weeks have been a veritable hotbed of master-debating here at CP, so we expect you Taters to bring the same hellfire and vitriol to this list as you would any other. Let’s get to the nominees…

5. Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche – UFC 157

(All photos via Getty)

How They Described ItIn the first women’s bout to ever take place in the UFC
Octagon, bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Liz Carmouche made history with style. Yet despite Rousey’s status as the Queen of the sport, Carmouche nearly spoiled the party when she had the champion seconds away from a submission defeat. In the end though, it was Rousey prevailing late in the first round with her trademark armbar.

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UFC on FOX 8 Adds Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga Headliner; Matt Mitrione Comes Off Suspension to Fight Brendan Schaub


(John Moraga leaves Ulysses Gomez in a heap during his Octagon debut at UFC on FOX 4. Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

The UFC on FOX 8 bookings continue to pile up, with a pair of high-profile matchups announced last night by the UFC. First off, the July 27th event in Seattle now has an official main event: flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson vs. fast-rising challenger John Moraga, a matchup that was originally supposed to headline the TUF 17 Finale earlier this month before Mighty Mouse was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Johnson is coming off his first title defense in January — a unanimous decision win over John Dodson at UFC on FOX 6 — while Moraga’s two-fight stint in the UFC has produced stoppage victories over Ulysses Gomez and Chris Cariaso…and that’s pretty much all it takes to get a title-shot at 125 pounds these days. Before starting his MMA career, Moraga was a two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State University, and he currently trains at The Lab in Phoenix alongside Benson Henderson and Jamie Varner.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the fighter-weight spectrum…

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Injury Update: Demetrious Johnson Tears Labrum, Sidelined for the Next Three Months


(Johnson better chiggity-check himself before he wrecks himself, Cotton. Photo via Getty Images.)

As much as we hate the fact that Demetrious Johnson has been forced to pull out of his upcoming flyweight title fight with John Moraga, we can’t exactly declare that he hasn’t earned a little break from the sport either. Granted, an injury vacation isn’t really a vacation at all (especially with an injury as serious as Johnson’s — we’ll get to that in a second), but have any of you realized that “Mighty Mouse” has fought seven times since entering the UFC in February of 2011?

It was a damn respectable pace and one that was destined to come to a crashing halt at some point in Johnson’s career. Thankfully, it appears that Johnson’s time away from the octagon will be limited to just a few months. As first revealed by Johnson’s AMC Pankration coach, Matt Hume, the flyweight champ has suffered a torn labrum that will keep him out of action for up to three months. There has been no word yet on how this will affect Johnson’s ability to pack into a hilariously undersized car with 42 of his closest friends.

Johnson was scheduled to face Moraga at the April 13th-scheduled TUF 17 Finale, but according to a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, the two are currently in talks to meet at UFC 161 in June.

-J. Jones

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Demetrious Johnson Out of John Moraga Title Defense Due to Injury; Faber vs. Jorgensen Now Headlines TUF 17 Finale


(That’s right, DJ. Pose through the pain. / Photo via Sherdog)

Due to an undisclosed injury, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming title defense against John Moraga, which was scheduled to go down at the TUF 17 Finale (April 13th, Las Vegas). At this point, it’s unclear when Johnson will be back in action, or if Moraga will remain on the card.

To make up for the loss, the UFC has booked a new fight to take the main event spot — a bantamweight scrap between Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen. Faber is coming off an impressive first-round submission over Ivan Menjivar at UFC 157, while Jorgensen snapped a two-fight losing skid by choking out John Albert at UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz, a performance that won him both Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night bonuses. Fun fact: Urijah Faber has gone 6-0 in his last six non-title fights, and 0-5 in his last five title fights.

The TUF 17 Finale will also feature Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Travis Browne, Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano, and probably Uriah Hall vs. some other guy from the show.

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John Moraga (Yes, THE John Moraga) to Face Demetrious Johnson Next at the TUF 17 Finale in April


(Aaaannndd in the blue corner, fighting out of…uh…parts unknown, and sporting a professional record of…*cough*teen and one…Juan Mordana!) 

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…

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‘UFC on FOX 6′ Ratings Update: Flyweights Pull Strong Numbers, Fall Just Short of Henderson vs. Diaz


(The average new viewer tuned in for 5 minutes and 54 seconds before realizing they weren’t watching ‘America’s Best Dance Crew.’ Photo via Tracy Lee/Cagewriter.)

For those of you who thought that the UFC’s decision to headline a FOX card with 125-pounders was promotional suicide, it’s time to eat some crow. According to the final ratings numbers, UFC on FOX 6: Johnson vs. Dodson drew an average of 4.4 million viewers last Saturday, peaking at 5.2 million viewers for the flyweight championship main event. That’s only a slight decrease from the viewership of the last FOX card, which attracted 4.4 million average viewers with a peak of 5.7 million for the Benson Henderson vs. Nate Diaz lightweight title fight.

Judging from the data here and here, Johnson vs. Dodson’s 5.2 million viewer peak would place it around #13 on the list of the most-watched MMA fights of all time in the United States. It’ll be interesting to see how the next UFC on FOX event on April 20th stacks up, as it features a returning star in Benson Henderson — and an excellent heavyweight feature adding weight to the main card — but won’t benefit from the frequent promos during NFL broadcasts that UFC on FOX 6 received.

For a quick comparison of the average viewerships for each UFC on FOX card so far, check out the numbers after the jump…

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Rest Easy, Flyweights: The UFC is Currently Scouting 115-Pounders to Take the Brunt of Fan Criticism in the Near Future


(My God, the “TUF 18: Strawweights” team challenges are going to be OFF THE CHAIN.) 

In an interview with MMAJunkie, UFC President Dana White revealed that the promotion had recently traveled to Mexico to scout fighters for a possible 115-pound division in the UFC. Considering the UFC’s hesitance to even use the word “Flyweight” during their promotion of UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson, this news should come as a pretty big surprise to most of us. Then again, The Baldfather previously stated that we would never see women’s MMA in the UFC, and now this is a thing that is happening. And according to White, the trip was a huge success:

It went very well. A lot of guys showed up, it was very successful, and the guys we sent down were very excited with what they saw.

As we know, the UFC’s flyweight division was added all of a year ago, and is currently composed of just 13 fighters. While last weekend’s event should have put all doubt to rest in regards to the legitimacy and marketability of the smaller weight classes, it also highlighted a noticeable problem in the division: matchmaking. Granted, the division is still in the infant stages of development, but if the UFC is looking to continue promoting flyweights in the long run, their focus should be on beefing up that division, not necessarily adding another. Still, this is good news for any disgruntled Ewoks, Oompa Loompas, or members of The Lollipop Guild who find themselves outmatched by the mammoth of a man that is Demetrious Johnson.

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson’ Edition


(Well, that might explain the spray tan, at least. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

It’s safe to say that the UFC’s latest trip to the land of major network television succeeded in exceeding most of our expectations. For starters, the event pulled in much higher viewership numbers than most pundits of the sport (and apparently the UFC’s marketing department) ever believed a card topped off by a flyweight fight could do. The fact that the card delivered exciting finishes and entertaining brawls from top to bottom further cemented our belief that the UFC has truly started to hit their stride with Fox. Not that we ever doubted them, but things were looking hairy for a while there *thinks back to UFC on Fox 2, shudders*. 

But today, we must gather up last weekend’s results like a herd of slaughtered bison, take to our (ban)wagons, and forge ahead to the river of subjectivity that is the armchair matchmaker (Oregon Trail metaphors. They’re like, so in right now.). So join us after the jump as we breakdown what is next for some of Saturday’s biggest winners.

Demetrious Johnson: Challenger John Dodson might have brought the pop rocks to his first ever UFC title fight, but Demetrious Johnson surely brought the coke. And by coke, I mean cocaine. Because Johnson fights like he’s on…you know what, forget it. The Tazmanian Devil-esque tornado of takedowns known as “Mighty Mouse” is truly something to behold when he enters the octagon, combining a limitless gas tank with a simple will to survive that is unmatched by 90% of his MMA counterparts, flyweight or otherwise.

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