UFC Fight Night 35 Fight Breakdown: John Moraga (-280) vs. Dustin Ortiz (+240)

John-Moraga One of the main card bouts at UFC FIght Night 35 is a flyweight bout between John Moraga and Dustin Ortiz. The current betting line for this bout at 5Dimes Sportsbook lists Moraga as a -280 favorite (bet $280 to win $100), while Ortiz is a +240 underdog (bet $100 to win $240). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened Moraga as a -270 favorite and Ortiz as a +190 dog, meaning so far the betting public is on the favorite Moraga. I can’t blame the betting public for bumping up the line on Moraga as I am also picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. Moraga (13-2) last competed at UFC on FOX 7, where he was submitted by Demetrious Johnson in the fifth round of their flyweight title fight. It was a disappointing loss for Moraga, but after seeing Johnson dominate Joseph Benavidez recently, that loss doesn’t look so bad in hindsight. Although the 29-year-old was taken down at will by “Mighty Mouse,” he does actually have very good wrestling for the division. He also has excellent, unorthodox striking including KO power, as we saw in his beating of Ulysses Gomez at UFC on FOX 4. And he has submission ability, as he showed in his choke out of Chris Cariaso at UFC 155. In short, he’s extremely well-rounded and one of the very best flyweights in the world. Moraga was at the top of the world and fighting in the main event of a FOX card just six months ago, and now he’s lucky he got a main card spot on this Fight Night card. He needs a big win to reaffirm himself as a top contender, and he has a good chance of doing just that against Ortiz. Ortiz (12-2) made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 32 and ended up winning the fight in the third round after being down 20-18 against Jose Maria Tome. Ortiz had a hard time adjusting to the big show in the first 10 minutes of the fight and seemed to have the “Octagon jitters” but in round three Tome started to gas and Ortiz got him to the ground and was able to finish with a ground-and-pound TKO. However, he hit Tome in the back of the head to finish him and I really think a lot of other refs would have disqualified him. Regardless, he got the win officially and now the 28-year-old has a big opportunity to move up the ladder with a big win over Moraga. Although Ortiz is a well-rounded fighter, though, I don’t think like he’s amazing in one area of the game, whereas I believe Moraga has elite skills in multiple facets. So while I expect Ortiz to fight competitively, it’s going to take a lot for him to pull off the upset and I have a feeling he will come up just short. Like any flyweight bouts, I see this one going the full three rounds. I believe that Moraga is going to be able to mix in takedowns with his striking and score points both by sitting in top control when the fight is on the ground, as well as landing the harder punches when the fight is on the feet. It’s possible that Ortiz could steal a round, but I do feel like Moraga is going to be awarded a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards at the end of three rounds. I really want to recommend a bet on Moraga as I see him winning this fight, but I feel like the line is a bit too high on what should be a fairly competitive flyweight bout and I have to recommend a pass. Now, if for some reason the line dips below 2-to-1 then by all means make a play, but for now I would just watch the fight and enjoy it, as it should be fun like most flyweight fights are.

Written by Adam Martin.

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