Two surging flyweights will headline the UFC’s return to Mexico City on August 5th, 2017 as Sergio Pettis takes on Brandon Moreno in the main event of UFC Fight Night 114 at the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Mexico.
Sergio Pettis is the younger brother of former UFC Lightweight titleholder Anthony Pettis. The 8th ranked Pettis will put his three-fight winning streak on the line against a fighter ranked just one spot below him. Since his upset loss to Ryan Benoit during his flyweight debut at UFC 185, Pettis has recorded wins over Chris Cariaso, Chris Kelades and John Moraga.
Pettis started his UFC career at bantamweight and after going 3-1 with a pair of Fight of the Night bonuses. Prior to the UFC he competed in the Resurrection Fighting Alliance promotion and the North American Fighting Championships. He was the first RFA Flyweight champion and a former NAFC Bantamweight champion.
Ninth ranked Brandon Moreno has racked up 11 consecutive wins, including 8 stoppages, after starting his MMA career with a 3-3 record. Moreno is 3-0 in the UFC with two victories by submission and two post fight bonuses. In his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 96 last October, Moreno submitted Luis Smolka. Two months later, he beat Ryan Benoit by split decision and then choked out Dustin Ortiz at UFC Fight Night 108 in Nashville.
Moreno has forced 7 of his last 9 opponents to tap out so you’ve got to look out for his submission skills here. This will be Moreno’s fourth fight in his birthplace of Mexico City and his first in Mexico under the UFC banner. This is also the first time in his career that he will be headlining a UFC event.
This one’s pretty much interesting with Moreno a slight -140 favorite against Pettis who is at +120. These are two young and hungry up and comers who would like to push their careers to the Top 5 and position themselves for a possible title shot.
Moreno averages 3.2 takedowns and 2.3 submissions per fifteen minutes and those show you how he wants to fight. He’s very good on the ground and he has excellent submission skills. In his most recent fight against Dustin Ortiz, Moreno was taken down four times, yet he still was able to submit Ortiz. Pettis can hold his own against Moreno on the ground but he’d rather have this fight on its feet where he averages 4.02 significant strikes per 15 minutes.
Sergio Pettis’ ground game has shown some improvement lately but he might not want to test it against a very good submission artist like Brandon Moreno. Pettis will likely be content to strike against Moreno. He will utilize his leg kicks to mix with his punches. If he is going to win, it’s going to be via a decision. Pettis’ last six bouts have ended in a decision and he hasn’t stopped anyone since 2013.
For Moreno to win, he must take this fight to the canvas where he has the significant advantage. Moreno should look for takedowns more than usual and keep an aggressive pace. For Pettis to win, he must fight the perfect fight. A simple striking mistake could put him down on the mat against an excellent finisher and he doesn’t want that to happen. We’re picking Brandon Moreno to win his 12th straight fight by submission.