After sustaining the first loss of his career, flyweight Justin Scoggins is getting a high-profile opportunity in his next UFC matchup. Scoggins is being matched up against former title challenger John Moraga in what looms as a pivotal 125-pound affair at Fight Night 50 on Sept. 5 in Connecticut. Moraga will also be looking to rebound after being stopped by John Dodson at Fight Night 42.
Scoggins dropped a split-decision verdict to Dustin Ortiz in an exciting contest at the TUF 19 Finale that could have gone either way. “Tank” was close to earning a submission win in the opening round, but somehow Ortiz was able to survive. Ortiz would get the nod from the judges over Scoggins after three back-and-forth rounds that included a number of wild scrambles.
It was the first taste of defeat for Scoggins after nine-straight victories and he’s now in the rare position of looking to rebound. He’s gone 2-1 in his UFC tenure with victories over Richie Vaculik and Will Campuzano. The talented 22-year-old striker has produced six knockouts.
Moraga has gone 3-2 during his time with the promotion and has already had a shot at champion Demetrious Johnson. Moraga was submitted in the fifth and final round by “Mighty Mouse” at UFC on FOX 8. Moraga is looking to bounce back after being finished by Dodson in their rematch in New Mexico. A brutal knee late in Round 2 from “The Magician” had Moraga leaking blood from his nose and the fight was stopped by the doctor in between rounds.
Moraga will be looking to solidify his top-five ranking when he squares off against Scoggins. He holds Octagon triumphs against Ulysses Gomez, Chris Cariaso and Ortiz. Eight of his 14 wins have come by knockout or submission and his only three career losses have come against Dodson and Johnson. He’s definitely faced better opposition than Scoggins has so far.
This is another solid addition to what is shaping up to be a fine card in Connecticut. Both Scoggins and Moraga will be hungry to prove that they are elite 125-pound competitors and want to avoid back-to-back setbacks. It’s definitely a matchup that could produce some fireworks.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.