It was shocking at the end of the Dustin Ortiz–John Moraga fight when Bruce Buffer announced that Moraga won by split-decision. I was pulling for Moraga, and even I believe Ortiz won the fight hands-down. Round one and three went to Ortiz, while Moraga walked away with the second round.
Moraga continued to show the world that even though he is a wrestler by trade, he still has problems with high-caliber wrestlers. Ortiz was basically able to take Moraga down and grind him out for the majority of three rounds. Moraga had his moments, with the majority of them coming in the second frame, but it shouldn’t have been enough for a victory.
Ortiz did seem to be laying and praying a bit in the third round, but he controlled the action for the most part. In a division not deep with qualified contenders, Ortiz still has time to work his way up the ladder. He will be a great talent in the flyweight division in the years to come. His next fight should still be against decent competition. Maybe a fight with Louis Gaudinot or Scott Jorgensen would be a good direction to go for the newcomer.
For Moraga, he rebounded from his flyweight title loss to Demetrious Johnson. Considering the way he was beaten, Moraga probably isn’t any closer to a rematch than Joseph Benavidez. If fact, that should be Moraga’s next opponent as both are just a fight or two removed from their failed title bid.
Moraga should still be considered a contender for the title, but he will need a better performance inside the Octagon to prove himself.