Both Miles Johns and Vince Morales looked to right the ship at UFC Vegas 65 on Saturday.
Each man had lost their last fight earlier in 2022 after being on a two fight winning streak prior to that, but a win here would be a big statement. Before the fight, inside the octagon, Morales and Johns had to be separated by staff as they tried to go at each other before the bell rang; perhaps there was some bad blood there.
The fight started at a slow pace with a feeling out process for the first four and a half minutes. Feints, jabs, and footwork were the only things on display early on as there were very few actual landed strikes. Each fighter only uncorked their power right hand a few times, with four total strikes landing unofficially through four minutes. With thirty seconds left in the round the first significant action came when Johns shot a takedown but Morales was able to fend it off. In the final ten seconds they finally let their hands fly as Johns landed two hooks and Morales cracked him back with a straight right at the buzzer.
Unfortunately the second round did not quite pick up where the first left off as they sort of danced at range for the first few minutes. Two minutes into the round Jones entered on a single leg and got Morales against the fence. However, Morales was able to fend off the takedown and escape only to get eye poked right after, causing the ringside physician to enter the cage briefly. The doctor gave Morales a clean bill of health and they got back to fighting.
Johns began to use effective pressure and Vince was forced to use a takedown attempt just to get off the fence. With one minute left Johns finally let his hands go and winged hooks in combination twice, but not many landed. His pressure was once again able to get Morales to the fence. Johns shot another single leg with twenty seconds left in the round but Morales was able to defend at first. However, the round ended with Johns dumping Morales onto his butt at the buzzer.
Miles Johns put the pressure on early in the round this time and shot a single leg. Johns chased Morales across the cage trying to land it and got Vince’s butt to the canvas briefly before they got back to striking, but Miles landed some strikes on the way up. Morales landed maybe his best strike of the fight with a body kick but Johns countered with a stiff jab that made Morales stumble although he was not hurt, just off-balance. Johns got more aggressive as the halfway point of the round passed, his pressure and big punch attempts were solid at forcing action. Finally, a big overhand landed for Johns, his biggest strike of the fight so far. Johns once again entered on a single leg with two minutes left and they got stuck in the clinch.
After a lengthy period Morales escaped. Vince kept working the body kicks that he had begun to have success with while Johns opened up with his hands but missed wildly oftentimes. In the final minute Johns shot one more single leg takedown but Vince stalled it for thirty seconds until finally being dragged to the ground and bouncing right back up right as the buzzer sounded.
No one could envy the judges in such a slow fight; it was extremely hard to score for anyone and could go either way. When the scorecards were read it was Miles Johns who got his hand raised by unanimous decision, with one judge giving him all three rounds. In his post-fight interview, Miles Johns revealed that his coach (that would be Glory MMA and Fitness’ James Krause) was suspended and not allowed to be in his corner for this fight. While no reason was specified, Krause had been under scrutiny due to Darrick Minner fighting injured earlier this month, leading to suspicious betting activity when news of he injury purportedly leaked.
Official Result: Miles Johns def. Vince Morales by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)