UFC on Fox 8: Demetrious Johnson (-500) vs. John Moraga (+400)
The main event of UFC on FOX 8 is a five-round fight for the UFC flyweight championship between current titleholder Demetrious Johnson and top contender John Moraga.
Johnson (17-2-1) is the UFC flyweight champion, winning the title against Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152. Since then, the 26 year old has defended his belt against John Dodson. This will be his second title defense and it’s a fight where most expect him to cruise.
Johnson is a good wrestler with big takedowns. He’s extremely fast and showed he has evolved his standup game with an excellent Muay Thai clinch against Dodson. The problem with Johnson is that he isn’t a finisher and his fights are often tight decisions that end up in the hands of the judges.
Johnson has been lucky so far, but his wins over Miguel Torres and his draw against Ian McCall were questionable. And if he leaves this fight with Moraga in the hands of the judges, you never know what can happen.
Moraga (13-1) earned his shot at the title with stoppage wins over Chris Cariaso and Ulysses Gomez. The 29 year old is a well-rounded fighter with good wrestling, strong power (for a 125er) and submission skills. And, unlike Johnson, he’s a finisher.
Although many are unfamiliar with Moraga, because his previous UFC fights were on Facebook, he’s very deserving of this crack at the belt and has a good chance to get the upset victory. Although everyone is counting him out, Moraga has more ways to win the fight than Johnson and, if he can stop the takedowns and hurt Johnson with strikes, the judges may end up siding with him when it comes time to make their decision.
This is going to be a competitive bout between two high-level and well-rounded flyweights and ultimately it may come down to the judges. These two fighters match up very evenly with one another, although you could give Moraga the power edge and Johnson the speed edge.
Look for a tight matchup with closely-judged rounds that will just depend on how the judges view the bout as both men display complete mixed martial arts attacks. And, at the odds, I’m willing to bet it’s the underdog Moraga that gets the nod.
Adam Martin writes for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.
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