Venezuela’s Omar Morales, a Contender Series winner earlier this year, made his octagon debut at UFC Busan, outworking local Dong Hyun Ma to maintain his perfect record.
The UFC touched down in Busan, South Korea for the first time on Saturday. Preliminary action on the UFC Busan Fight Night card had local favorite Dong Hyun Ma facing Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer in lightweight action. Ma, a.k.a. ‘Maestro’ (and properly Dong Hyun Kim, not to be confused with ‘Stun Gun’ Kim) was looking to snap a two-fight losing streak at the event. Venezuela’s Omar Morales, meanwhile, was looking to make a big splash in his debut after winning on the Contender Series earlier in the year. Morales entered the night undefeated.
Ma and Morales circled early, with Morales throwing the first significant attack by way of a head kick. Both fighters would mix in a few less flashy kicks as they circled. Morales then caught a kick and dropped Ma on his back. Ma would be stuck on bottom for a time, before locking on with a kimura. The South Korean fighter had a solid grip and position, but Morales was able to trap his arm under a leg to prevent the move from being completed.
Round two saw another slow start, with a left hand from Dong Hyun Ma being the first bit of heavy leather thrown. Morales would fire off a side kick, and the pair would continue their dizzying approach of circling constantly, firing mostly single strikes. Ma would go to the body, while Morales would land a spinning kick high with about ninety seconds left in the frame.
Morales perhaps had a slim lead heading into the third round, and Ma’s corner reacted accordingly, looking for more from their fighter. It was Morales, however, opening up early in the round, firing off the first combination of the round and punctuating that with a kick. A well-timed spinning heel kick then dropped the South Korean fighter! The blow landed flush on Ma’s jaw. Hammer fists by Morales followed, as Ma held on for dear life. He’d survive, but had Morales on top, and was unquestionably losing the third and final frame.
Official Result: Omar Morales def. Dong Hyun Ma by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)