Alex Morono nearly won by knockout in the second round, but that only led to Max Griffin having his best round in the third at UFC Tampa.
Alex Morono rides a two-fight win streak into UFC Tampa, with a TKO victory over Zak Ottow being his latest appearance. Max Griffin bounced back from a two-fight losing streak with a win over Zelim Imadaev in his most recent appearance.
It was a fairly tentative start to the first round between the two fighters, with Alex Morono effectively keeping his distance. Griffin came in with a hard overhand right that landed, but Morono was able to land a smooth combination. Griffin was trying to establish a jab, but ate a spinning back kick to the body for his efforts. Morono ate a slick right straight from Griffin, and kept pushing forward. Right hands fired from both sides in a round in which both fighters showcased a good amount of aggression.
Griffin fired off some jabs to start the second round, then combinations were exchanged. The aggression was maintained, with both men throwing constant punches. A hard right hand cracked Alex Morono and Griffin pushed forward with follow-up shots, but Morono slowed him down with a headlock. Griffin broke free and it was Morono’s turn to build his range, landing a hard right of his own. Another one came in from Morono. Griffin responded with a combination, but left his head out there for a bit too long, and was clocked with a head kick that knocked him down. Morono came barreling in, landing knees to the head, elbows, and a huge spinning backfist that Griffin somehow ate. An improbable round three was in order.
The head kick! The spinning back fist!
— UFC (@ufc) October 12, 2019
Griffin was refreshed after the minute of rest. He was able to send Morono off balance with a right hand, then came in with another one. Morono couldn’t keep his momentum as Griffin was the aggressor in round three, throwing a flying knee at Morono then landing a takedown. Morono worked his way back up, but was thrown to the ground with a high crotch takedown. Again, Morono got up, and again, he was taken down. Griffin was responding brilliantly to the trouble he was in in the second round. Morono survived to the final bell and took home the victory.
Alex Morono def. Max Griffin by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x2, 29-27)