In a close, competitive fight at UFC Fight Night 35, John Moraga defeated Dustin Ortiz by the narrowest of split decision margins.
Ortiz looking busy from the off and lands a nice right hand that connects solidly and stops Moraga in his tracks just for a split second.
Ortiz spins around attempting to take Moraga’s back. He’s looking to hoist Moraga up and get him to the mat, but Moraga resists and Ortiz opts to press him up against the cage instead.
Ortiz controlling the clinch, but he looks like he’s keen to take Moraga down, but no luck thus far. He lands a few knees and then finally does manages to drag Moraga to the mat.
Good positional control from Ortiz giving Moraga no room here. Moraga tries to shift back and use the fence to get up, but Ortiz pulls him back so he can’t do so.
Ortiz lands a solid knee to the body on the mat. He’s content working some ground and pount here as the final seconds of the round tick over. All Ortiz in round one.
Moraga flicking out leg kicks to start round two, but Ortiz is happy to do that too. Moraga lands a nice punch to the head.
More leg kicks from Moraga and he looks to be settling into this fight now, seeming sharper now. Punches land for Moraga, Ortiz scores with a leg kick.
Leg kick and then a hard punch hurts Ortiz. Ortiz thinking about a takedown, but Moraga connects with a knee.
They’re clinched up, but separate and as Moraga fakes a strike, Ortiz stumbles and falls to the mat for a moment.
Moraga looking really confident now and he gets the fight to the mat and has Ortiz’s back attempting a rear-naked choke. It seems tight, but Ortiz manages to hang in there and break free.
Moraga loses position and Ortiz gets on top. Ortiz trying to get Moraga’s back, but they end up going upright instead.
Back to the striking they go and Moraga connects with some more nice punches. Ortiz looks for the takedown and gets it. There’s a bit of a scramble as the round comes to a close and Moraga ends up on top.
Both men try a high kick and it’s Moraga’s that lands better. Moraga lands a punch too. Ortiz tries a takedown, but Moraga stuffs it with a nice sprawl and then gets back up.
Right hand lands for Moraga. He tries a head kick, but Ortiz ducks under it. Ortiz scores with a right hand.
Low kick then a high one for Moraga, though not a lot behind either strike. Moraga lands a knee and Ortiz catches him with a punch in return.
Moraga with the more technical striking, but Ortiz is starting to wade in with aggressive flurries of strikes and gain back some ground as a result. Then he switches things up with a nice takedown.
90 seconds to go with Ortiz in side control. He lands a few elbows and then Moraga gets him back into his guard.
Ortiz leaves a little space and Moraga manages to get up to his feet. THen he attempts to get a takedown of his own, but Ortiz escapes and presses him up against the cage. Ortiz lands another takedown and Moraga half-heartedly tries a guillotine as the round ends.
Both men had their moments in this bout and it’s down to the judges to pick a winner now. It looked like Ortiz’s late takedowns might have stolen him the fight, but not according to two of the three judges who like Moraga and so it’s he who earns the split decision win (29-28 x2, 28-29).