SERGIO PETTIS edged closer to a title shot at flyweight with a unanimous decision over Brandon Moreno, winning 49-46 and 48-46 twice on the cards, at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City as the UFC rolled into it’s summer break.
Pettis came through a difficult first round when Moreno secured a takedown and kept him down for the majority of the round, however when it remained on the feet, “The Phenom” was excellent, outstriking Moreno to cruise through the last four rounds.
Pettis landed the head kick with alarming regularity, cutting Moreno over the right eye in the third round. Moreno did secure another takedown in the fifth but the submission specialist had taken so much damage he was unable to keep Pettis down and add another stoppage to his ledger.
It was a fourth straight win for Pettis, whilst Moreno sees his 11 fight winning streak come to an end. It was a deserving win for Pettis who could well fight himself next in line for a title shot against Demetrious Johnson providing he defends his belt against Ray Borg on September 9.
The rest of the card featured seven first round stoppages which showed the fighters weren’t hanging around before the summer break. There was no Fight of the Night bonus awarded, however four fighters were handed Performance of the Night honours.
The first of these was welterweight Niko Price, who remains unbeaten after knocking out Alan Jouban in quick fashion. A right hand had Jouban staggering, before a head kick sent him to the canvas and victim to a barrage of blows and a second straight stoppage loss.
Humberto Bandenay ended featherweight Martin Bravo’s unbeaten record with a brutal knee separating Bravo from his senses after just 26 seconds. Middleweight Jack Hermansson was also a first round victor viciously beating down Brad Scott with some horrible ground-and-pound, before the referee mercifully stepped in to save the stricken Brit.
Dustin Ortiz is now the holder of the fastest stoppage in flyweight history, sending Hector Sandoval packing in 15 seconds. A big right stunned Sandoval, before he was dropped by a second and promptly finished. Bantamweight Rani Yahya didn’t waste any time against Henry Briones, taking him down and locking in a kimura to top off a dominant performance.
On the Fight Pass there were two quality submission’s, headlined by Joseph Morales who soaked up some early pressure before coming out on top of a flyweight clash with Roberto Sanchez. Morales got to his feet, dropped Sanchez with a solid left and then sunk in a rear naked choke to secure a $50k bonus.
Jordan Rinaldi managed to earn a victory in the lightweight division, choking out Alvaro Herrera with just the fourth Von Flue choke in UFC history. Herrera had secured the takedown, but Rinaldi slipped out of Herrera’s submission attempt to add his name to a very exclusive list of Von Flue winners.
Alexa Grasso bounced back from her loss to Felice Herrig with an entertaining, split decision win over Randa Markos in a fight fought at 119lbs, following Grasso missing weight. Grasso took it 29-28 twice and 28-29 on the cards.
Middleweight Sam Alvey added to former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans recent misery, edging past the future hall of famer by split decision, 29-28 twice and 28-29 in Evans’ favour. It was a fourth straight defeat for Evans, who will struggle to hold off the retirement talk much longer.
Bantamweight’s Alejandro Perez and Andre Soukhamthath combined for a hugely entertaining battle, which saw Perez come out on top by split decision, but in reality it could have gone either way. A rematch between the two would certainly not go amiss.
Finally, also at bantamweight, Jose Alberto Quinonez easily got the better of Diego Rivas, taking it 30-27 on all three cards in what was a dominant performance by the Mexican.
The next card will be on September 2 in Rotterdam, where heavyweight’s Stefan Struve and Alexander Volkov headline, although there is the small matter of Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor’s clash the week before in Las Vegas.