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Matches to Make After UFC Fight Night ‘Pettis vs. Moreno’



Critics were quick to write off Sergio
Pettis
as a bust after surprising losses to Alex
Caceres
and Ryan Benoit.
Perhaps they should reconsider their position, if they have not
done so already.

Pettis continued to build momentum in the
Ultimate Fighting Championship
flyweight division, as he took a
unanimous decision from Brandon
Moreno
in the
UFC Fight Night 114 “Pettis vs. Moreno”
main event on Saturday
at Mexico City Arena in Mexico City. The Roufusport standout swept
the scorecards with 49-46, 48-46 and 48-46 marks from the judges
and has now equaled the UFC win total (seven) of older brother
Anthony
Pettis
.

Met with early adversity, Pettis wandered into serious danger in
the first round. There, Moreno executed a takedown and advanced to
the back, where he pestered the Milwaukee native with punches while
hunting a rear-naked choke. Pettis withstood his advances and spent
the next four-plus rounds focused on staying upright and flashing
his superior standup skills.

In the aftermath of UFC Fight Night “Pettis vs. Moreno,” here are
five matches that ought to be made:

Sergio
Pettis
vs. Henry
Cejudo
-Wilson Reis
winner: While there will be the temptation to rush Pettis into a
title fight with the winner of the forthcoming Demetrious
Johnson
-Ray Borg
showdown, he stands to benefit from further seasoning. Still just
23 years of age, the Duke Roufus protégé has shown marked
improvements over his last two appearances and figures to maintain
his upward trajectory as he pushes into his prime. Like many other
contenders before him, Pettis would likely be a prohibitive
underdog against the magnificent Johnson, a man currently without
peer at 125 pounds. Cejudo and Reis will square off at UFC 215 on
Sept. 9.

Alexa
Grasso
vs. Cortney Casey: Grasso’s transition to the UFC has
not gone as swimmingly as many had hoped, but the 23-year-old Lobo
Gym cornerstone has nevertheless managed to win two of her first
three fights. In her latest appearance, she outpointed Randa
Markos
across three rounds, claimed a split decision in the
co-main event and rebounded from her Feb. 4 defeat to the resurgent
Felice
Herrig
. Grasso outlanded Markos by a 121-71 margin in total
strikes, per FightMetric, doing the majority of her good work in
the first and third rounds. Casey, 30, last competed at UFC 211 in
May, when she was awarded a three-round unanimous decision over
former World Series of Fighting champion Jessica
Aguilar
.

Niko
Price
vs. Alex
Oliveira
: Making a strong case to move up in the welterweight
pecking order, the unbeaten Price laid waste to Alan Jouban
in less than two minutes to improve to 10-0. The American Top Team
rep chopped down Jouban with a counter right hand and mopped up
what was left with follow-up punches, prompting the stoppage 1:44
into Round 1. Price has delivered nine of his 10 victories by
knockout, technical knockout or submission and sport’s eight
first-round finishes on his resume. Oliveira has rattled off
back-to-back wins, including a scintillating one-punch knockout
against Ryan
LaFlare
at UFC on Fox 25 in July.

Sam
Alvey
vs. Tim Boetsch:
The masses were not entertained, but Alvey did enough to get past
former UFC champion Rashad
Evans
and pocket a split decision on the main card. “Smilin’
Sam” has compiled a 5-1 record across his last six appearances, a
decision loss to Thales
Leites
on April 22 his only misstep. Wins over Evans, Nate
Marquardt
, Alex
Nicholson
, Kevin Casey
and Eric
Spicely
have strengthened his position at 185 pounds and
provided him with plenty of job security. Boetsch last competed at
UFC Fight Night 112 on June 25, when he took out four-time NCAA
All-American Johny
Hendricks
with a head kick and follow-up punches in Oklahoma
City.

Dustin
Ortiz
vs. Ben Nguyen: No
one did more to improve their stock than Ortiz, who authored the
quickest finish in the history of the UFC flyweight division. The
often-overlooked Franklin, Tennessee, native needed a mere 15
seconds to dispatch Team Alpha Male’s Hector
Sandoval
with punches on the undercard. Ortiz now owns a 6-5
mark in the UFC, though it must be noted that those five defeats
have come against Moreno, Reis, Jussier da
Silva
, Joseph
Benavidez
and John Moraga.
Nguyen opened some eyes at UFC Fight Night 110 on June 11, when he
submitted Tim Elliott
with a rear-naked choke in just 49 seconds and won for the 11th
time in 12 bouts.



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