Despite spending most of the third round on his back, and finding himself in a close second frame, John Moraga got the decision at UFC on FOX 29 on Saturday.
Former flyweight title challenger Wilson Reis was back in action at UFC Glendale on Saturday. There, at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ, he faced John Moraga in a fight that had Reis desperately in need of a win, and Moraga looking to extend his win streak to three.
Reis, who had lost two straight coming into UFC on FOX 29, had also undergone personal tragedy ahead of the bout, as his younger brother was killed in a motorcycle accident just a day after he signed the bout agreement.
Opening this flyweight battle at UFC Glendale, Reis was eager to throw hands, but Moraga was able to use angles and slightly superior speed to stay out of harm’s way. Moraga’s best offensive weapon early was his kicks, mainly to the lead leg of Reis. Wilson Reis then changed levels, only to be caught in a guillotine. Reis stuck with the takedown, Moraga stuck with the choke. Ultimately, Reis won that battle, slamming Moraga down to the canvas. Reis briefly had side control. Moraga, however, powered up but nearly gave up his back. In the final minute, Reis used an overhand left to set up another takedown attempt, but it was Moraga who wound up taking the back, then moving to half-guard. After they briefly regained their feet, it was Reis landing on top to end out the frame.
In the second, John Moraga was able to connect with Wilson Reis early, clearly having the edge in the stand-up war. However, Reis managed to score a powerful takedown just past a minute in and trap Moraga against the fence. Moraga powered up, and again Wilson Reis was at risk of being caught in a guillotine. He backed off, however, before moving back in for a single leg attempt. Moraga fought that off, forcing another exchange on the feet, where again he had the advantage. A jumping knee then connected for John Moraga, but Reis refused to go down! Instead, he wound up taking the fight back down, working his way to half guard. Moraga gave up his back before Reis could mount him. With both hooks in, Reis was looking for the rear-naked choke, but Moraga reversed.
Round three saw Moraga going to the body, and Reis pressing the action before dropping down for another takedown. Moraga landed some elbows while sitting upright, but Reis finished the takedown. He couldn’t do much with the position, however. Back on the feet, Reis secured double underhooks, but Moraga was able to fight him off. Back out in the open, Moraga went upstairs with a kick that was at least partially blocked. Wilson Reis again went to his takedowns, and was able to control Moraga for a good chunk of the round, securing the back with a body triangle. Moraga would fight him off to the bell, but the third very likely secured the fight for former title challenger Wilson Reis. Yet when the scores were read, all three judges gave it to John Moraga off the strength of his first two rounds.
John Moraga def. Wilson Reis by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)