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Tag: John Moraga

Joe Riggs vs. Ben Saunders, John Moraga vs. Jussier Formiga Added to UFC on FOX 13


(“Help you with your squat technique, ma’am?“)

Two months after accidentally blasting a hole through his leg, welterweight veteran Joe Riggs has been rescheduled to make his Octagon return at UFC on FOX 13: Dos Santos vs. Miocic (December 13th, Phoenix). Riggs will face Ben “Killa B” Saunders in a booking that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that UFC matchmaker Joe Silva is a closet Bellator fan. Basically, this fight is for the unofficial Fight Master Season 2 certificate. The stakes literally couldn’t be higher.

Saunders was successful in his own UFC return in August, submitting Chris Heatherly with an omoplata — the first such finish in the promotion’s history — after a 7-3 run in Bellator. Riggs has yet to compete this year, but is riding a six-fight win streak. And in case you missed it, Joe Riggs says his recent near-death experience started when he brought a gun to his gym and his friend cocked it. To which we can only respond: Joe, that “friend” of yours is trying to kill you.

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UFC Fight Night 42 Results: Benson Henderson Submits Rustam Khabilov, Diego Sanchez Wins B.S. Hometown Decision Against Ross Pearson


(“My God, that is the flattest nose I’ve ever seen. Rustam, would it be okay if I prayed for you?” / Photo via MMAFighting)

The UFC visits Albuquerque for the first time this evening with UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Khabilov, a fun little card focusing on Southwestern talent under 170 pounds. In the main event, former lightweight champion Benson Henderson will go for the finish like he always does (LOL!) against Dagestani suplex-monster Rustam Khabilov. Plus: Hometown hero Diego Sanchez takes on Ross Pearson, former flyweight title challengers John Dodson and John Moraga will bounce around the Octagon faster than the human eye can detect, and Bryan Caraway will be booed loudly against Mexican bantamweight Erik “Goyito” Perez.

Handling the liveblog for tonight’s FOX Sports 1 main card will be none other than Ryan Harkness, who will be typin’ out round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page for all the latest updates, and as always, follow us on twitter for additional deep thoughts.

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UFC Fight Night 42 in Albuquerque Adds Dodson vs. Moraga Rematch, Return of Sergio Pettis


(John Dodson throws some straight-up Street Fighter 2 shit at Tim Elliott back at UFC on FOX 3. / Photo via Tracy Lee)

Unsurprisingly, the fight lineup for UFC Fight Night 42: Henderson vs. Khabilov (June 7th, Albuquerque) is loading up with Southwestern talent. Two more noteworthy matchups were added today

- Former UFC flyweight title challengers John Dodson and John Moraga will face off at UFC Fight Night 42, for the second time in their careers. Dodson and Moraga previously met at the infamously terrible Nemesis MMA: Global Invasion card in the Dominican Republic back in 2010; Dodson won a unanimous decision and most likely didn’t get paid a damn penny for his efforts. Now, the two Johns are doin’ it again for actual money, in front of actual people. Just like the main event, this matchup pits a local Greg Jackson/Albuquerque fighter (Dodson, Khabilov) vs. an Arizona-based fighter (Moraga, Henderson).

- In bantamweight news, 20-year-old prospect Sergio Pettis will try to rebound from his hype-deflating January loss against Alex Caceres when he takes on Yaotzin Meza — another Arizona-based fighter and teammate of Ben Henderson at MMA Lab in Glendale. Meza is 1-2 in the UFC, most recently dropping a decision to Chico Camus, making this one of those “loser might not get fired, but why take a chance?” kind of fights.

Southwestern MMA fans, check in: Are you excited for this one so far, and what other New Mexico/Arizona talent would you like to see on the card?

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UFC Fight Night 35: Rockhold vs. Philippou — Main Card Results & Commentary


(Luke and Costa face off in front of the wax replica of Dana White that the UFC has been sending to non-essential events. No offense, guys. At least you’re not on Fight Pass. / Photo via Getty)

Look, what can we tell you about UFC Fight Night 35 that we haven’t already expressed via dog GIFs? Luke Rockhold and Costa Philippou are a pair of highly-regarded middleweights who are trying to avoid a two-fight losing streak. Supporting their main event is a worthwhile list of TUF vets (Brad Tavares, TJ Dillashaw, Cole Miller, Sam Sicilia), a former flyweight title challenger (John Moraga), and a fast-rising knockout artist named Yoel Romero. It’s on cable TV, and early enough to watch while you’re eating your salisbury steak. Take it or leave it.

Handling our liveblog of the “Rockhold vs. Philippou” FOX Sports 1 main card is Matt Kaplan, who will be sticking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and if you’re watching along with us, join the conversation in the comments section.

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John Moraga Out of UFC on FOX 9, Replaced by Turkish Dude Named “Alp”


(Watch this video right now. We’ll explain later. Props: Gavin Halbert via MiddleEasy)

The injury curse that’s been plaguing UFC on FOX 9 (December 14th, Sacramento) has already claimed Anthony Pettis, Ian McCall, Kelvin Gastelum, and Jamie Varner, turning a once-loaded free show into a half-decent one that we’ll still watch because OMFG BROWN vs. CONDIT YOU GUYS. Today, we regretfully add one more body to the casualty list: Former flyweight title contender John Moraga, who has pulled out of his prelim match against Darren Uyenoyama due to an undisclosed injury that will sideline him for four weeks.

Stepping up on short notice to face Uyenoyama will be Alptekin “Alp” Ozkilic, an 8-1 native of Turkey who now trains out of St. Charles MMA in St. Peters, Missouri. Luckily, Ozkilic is more qualified to compete in the Octagon than some other people we could mention. His only career defeat came in a decision loss to current UFC flyweight Chico Camus in April 2012, and since then Alp has won three straight fights, including a 30-second TKO of former WEC mainstay Antonio Banuelos.

But it’s Ozkilic’s TKO of Josh “Shortstack” Robinson from February of this year that will surely become a viral-video sensation. Captured in the video above, we see Ozkilic on top, bashing Robinson with elbows. Then, in one of the dumbest displays of bravery absolute fucking stupidity we’ve ever seen, Robinson shouts “COME ON HIT ME YOU MOTHERFUCKER,” and Ozkilic happily obliges, laying into Robinson’s head with even harder elbows. There’s some controversy about what happens next. Robinson’s arms appear to go limp and the referee jumps in to stop the fight, but apparently Robinson wasn’t defending himself on purpose, and he immediately protests the stoppage. As Josh writes in the comments section on the YouTube video:

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John Moraga vs. Darren Uyenoyama Flyweight Bout Added to UFC on FOX 9


(Stayin’ positive. / Photo via @chicanojohn)

You know a card is stacked when a guy who just fought for a world title is relegated to the prelims. (This and this come to mind.) But it looks like that will be the case for UFC flyweight contender John Moraga, who will return from his fifth-round armbar loss to Demetrious Johnson in a fight against Darren Uyenoyama at UFC on FOX 9: Pettis vs. Thomson (December 14th, Sacramento). The UFC recently confirmed the booking.

Moraga’s loss to Johnson snapped a seven-fight win streak and dropped his UFC record to 2-1 — the same promotional record as Uyenoyama, who was most recently TKO’d by Joseph Benavidez at UFC on FOX 7. Though we normally wouldn’t call a fight like this a “must win” (especially in the relatively shallow flyweight division), it’s becoming harder and harder to predict which fighters will be considered expendable by the UFC.

Moraga vs. Uyenoyama becomes the ninth matchup added to the action-packed UFC on FOX 9 lineup, which currently lacks any fights above 170 pounds. Check out the current fight card after the jump…

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Surprises and Disappointments From UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga


(A triumphant loss for Trevor Smith, and an awe-inspiring punch-face for Ed Herman. / Photo via Getty. Click to enlarge.)

By Adam Martin

UFC on FOX 8 not only provided a number of awesome moments from some unexpected heroes, but it also saw a few fighters who were expected to do big things disappoint in a big way. In the first of a new post-event column only on CagePotato.com, here are three fighters who surprised us at UFC on FOX 8 and three fighters who let us down.

Surprises

Demetrious Johnson: Many expected UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson to successfully defend his title against John Moraga in the main event of UFC on FOX 8, but I don’t think anyone predicted him to win the fight via armbar with just one minute and 17 seconds left in the fight.

But that’s exactly what Johnson did as he earned his first stoppage victory in eight UFC fights, en route to shutting up the critics who called him boring and said he didn’t have what it takes to finish a tough guy like Moraga.

Johnson had all four rounds in his pocket and was ahead in the fifth, but instead of coasting to a win he tried desperately to get the finish and put an exclamation point on his performance, and that’s exactly what he did with his first submission win in the Octagon, a victory that earned him the $50,000 “Submission of the Night” award.

“Mighty Mouse” is always going to have his detractors because of his wrestling-heavy style, and I think his finish of Moraga is a bit of an anomaly, but on Saturday night he deserved all the praise in the world for a brilliant performance, one that has truly earned him his spot amongst the pound-for-pound best fighters in MMA. And hopefully, it’s just a sign of things to come.

Melvin Guillard: It had been over two years since Melvin Guillard last stopped an opponent inside the Octagon, but with his brutal second-round KO of Mac Danzig on the UFC on FOX 8 preliminary card, it’s safe to say that “The Young Assassin” is back.

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UFC on FOX 8 Aftermath: The Flyweights Deliver


(Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

By Elias Cepeda

Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson delivered another exciting, winning performance last night in the main event of UFC on Fox 8. The champ defended his title successfully with a fifth round arm bar submission win over challenger John Moraga.

Long before the submission, however, it looked like Johnson was going to walk away with a clear-cut victory. The Washington resident used his footwork, take downs, ground striking and submission attempts to put on a show for his home town crowd in Seattle Saturday night. Johnson took the two-time All-American wrestler Moraga down at will and worked him over with choke and arm bar attempts before finally securing the fight-ending hold in the last round.

For his part, Moraga never appeared to break or give in. He simply was no match for the champion.

Post fight, Johnson said that, while he is satisfied to continue to defend his 125 pound belt, he is open to doing “super fights” with champions of heavier divisions. “[A superfight] is just something to throw out there,” Johnson said at the post-event press conference. “I’m still focused on my weight division. I know there’s up-and-coming fighters who are trying to come up and take what’s mine, and I’ll be there to defend it for the fans.”

“I think everybody is focused on Anderson Silva, ‘GSP’ and all those guys,” Johnson continued. “But I think we can make some fun super fights down in a lighter-weight division with the flyweights fighting the bantamweights. I know the bantamweights have some things to work out, and then we’ll see what happens. I’m just here to fight and have a good time and put on a good performance for the UFC and the fans.”

Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger’s war of tweets came to a relatively muted climax in the co-main event. MacDonald used masterful foot work, angles and a stiff, precise jab to out-point Ellenberger and win a decision. Scores were 30-27 (twice) and 29-28 for MacDonald.

MacDonald managed to stay elusive while stalking Ellenberger for much of the fight. Ellenberger swang hard in spurts with his hooks behind a peek-a-boo posture, but mostly whiffed. Late in the third round, Ellenberger was finally able to catch Rory with a big shot and take down but the young Canadian immediately switched to offense from his back, threatening to get up with butterfly guards and with triangle choke and oma-plata shoulder lock attempts, before taking his opponent’s back at the final horn.

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UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga — Main Card Results and Commentary


(I got nothin’. So here’s Julie Kedzie looking like a crazy cat lady. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

A breakthrough moment for the flyweights. A Canadian psycho and an American juggernaut. A veteran banger, still doin’ the damn thang. And a young upstart who promises to test the will of the Girl-rilla. It’s UFC on FOX time, folks. Let’s get it.

The main card for UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga kicks off at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, and our man George Shunick will be hooking us up with round-by-round results, after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and toss your own thoughts, predictions, and one-liners into the comments section. Thanks for being here.

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UPDATED: UFC on FOX 8 Weigh-In Results; Three Fighters Come in Over the Limit


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

The 24 fighters competing on tomorrow night’s UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga card will be hitting the scales this evening at Seattle’s Key Arena, beginning at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. You can watch the action* live in the player above, and we’ll update the results (along with any relevant GIFs) after the jump. [Update: Three fighters missed weight, most notably lightweight Tim Means, who whiffed by five pounds. Details below.]

* So to speak. I mean, really, it’ll just be a bunch of guys weighing themselves and posing at each other.

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