A bloody brawl between Julio Arce and Sheymon Moraes kept the action going at UFC 230.
In his 17-fight career, Julio Arce has lost just twice, both times to Brian Kelleher (who was pulled from UFC 230 on fight night). Since the second loss to Kelleher, Arce has won seven in a row. The New Yorker earned his way into the UFC with a second-round stoppage victory in the Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series. He’s 2-0 in the Octagon so far, defeating Daniel Teymur in his last bout.
Sheymon Moraes came to the UFC from WSOF, where he was 3-1, only losing to Marlon Moraes in a title fight. Moraes is 1-1 since joining the promotion, winning in his last appearance in August.
Julio Arce kicks off the fight with a lengthy combination about 30 seconds into the round. However, Sheymon Moraes bounced back by knocking down Arce with essentially the first punch he threw. As Moraes was looking for the finish, Arce stifled him with an inverted triangle attempt, forcing Moraes to stand up.
The two fighters engaged in a clinch battle along the fence, turning each other back and forth. Arce stopped the cycle by hopping onto Moraes’ back with a slick move. Arce went digging for a standing rear-naked choke with about 90 seconds left, but could not get his arm under the chin of Moraes, riding out the round on his opponent’s back.
Moraes started the second round with a right hand that caught Arce’s attention. Arce bounced back with a clinch throw, but could not maintain top position for long. Moraes was able to clinch with Arce along the fence and landed a slicing elbow that opened up Arce. Moraes separated and pushed forward, landing a head kick. Moraes landed a body kick on top of it. Moraes earned another knockdown in the final minute of the round, but again Arce defended well.
Arce started the final round with aggression, going to the body with kicks. Moraes landed an elbow as Arce came in, but Arce continued to push forward. Arce landed a combination but Moraes swayed away from the head kick that Arce threw at the end. The fighters clinched up and Moraes landed another upward elbow followed by a head kick. Arce continued to press forward, landing a pair of combinations that sent Moraes to the fence. Arce overwhelmed Moraes with his pace in the tail-end of the final round, but could not get the finish.
Sheymon Moraes def. Julio Arce by Split Decision (30-26, 29-28, 28-29)