UFC’s return to Mexico City will be headlined by a key fight between two quickly rising flyweight fighters.
The promotion announced this weekend that Brandon Moreno will take on Sergio Pettis in the main event of an August 5 show from Arena Mexico. The five-round fight will air on Fox Sports 1 and features two young fighters knocking on the door of the upper echelon of the flyweight division.
Moreno, 23, a Tijuana native, has found himself as an unlikely UFC contender. He participated as part of the UFC’s “Tournament of Champions” on “The Ultimate Fighter” representing the World Fighting Federation as their flyweight champion. Moreno was knocked out of the competition early on, but was asked to serve as a short-notice replacement to fight Louis Smolka on an October Fight Night card while the show was still airing. Moreno shocked fans and Smolka when he took a first round submission from the highly touted prospect. Moreno has gone on to win two more bouts over Ryan Benoit and Dustin Ortiz in the months since and finds himself ranked number 7 in UFC’s official flyweight rankings.
His opponent Pettis, also 23, began his UFC career at bantamweight in 2013 with a decision win over Will Campuzano. He suffered his first career loss to Alex Caceres soon after but has won five of six since including three in a row in the flyweight division. His most recent win was a January decision victory over former title challenger John Moraga. Pettis had been scheduled to fight another former title challenger and no. 2 ranked contender Henry Cejudo at UFC 211 but the bout was scrapped just days before due to a Cejudo injury.
With Demetrious Johnson plowing through contenders and nearing a record-breaking title defense, his next contender, or potentially his successor could be revealed this August from Mexico City.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: I like this fight. It will be a good showcase for both fighters and will greatly increase the stock of the winner. With Joseph Benavidez now injured, the winner of this fight could easily be in line for a title shot against Demetrious Johnson. Pettis had a big opportunity to shine against Henry Cejudo last week, and I liked him to score the upset, but the fight never happened. Pettis is a very technical and well-rounded striker while Moreno has a gritty unrelenting ground attack that catches opponents off guard. I think Pettis will get a decision win here but it should be a heck of a fight against Moreno.
SUNDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS
-Invicta held their 23rd event last night from Kansas City, Mo. Agnieszka Niedzwiedz scored the decision win over Vanessa Porto in a flyweight main event. Fan favorite Roxanne Modafferi won a TKO victory over Sarah D’Alelio in the co-main event. Other results included:
- Herica Tiburcio def. Tessa Simpson via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Kelly Faszholz def. Elizabeth Phillips via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Andrea Lee def. Liz Tracy via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Ediane Gomes def. Pam Sorenson via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Tiffany Van Soest def. Christine Ferea via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Shaianna Rincon def. Brooksie Bayard via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
-UFC’s “Athlete Retreat” has been taking place in Las Vegas this weekend with much of the UFC roster in attendance. There have been seminars on social media use and instructions to contact UFC if one is “hacked.” Kobe Bryant appeared to speak before the roster and spoke positively of a fighters’ union, saying “When the tide rises, all the boats go up,” according to UFC fighter Leslie Smith.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SATURDAY NEWS DIGEST 5/20: Paul Daley vs. Michael “Venom” Page, 12 year old girl wins MMA debut, Ambrose to MMA? (w/Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)