MMA Odds and Ends for Sunday: Scoggins/Moraga Added To UFC Fight Night 50

UFC Fight Night 50If the UFC’s September 5th event wasn’t already strong enough, it had another top notch fight added yesterday. This one was courtesy of Sean Shelby and the flyweight division. Former title challenger John Moraga and once-defeated prospect Justin Scoggins agreed to a bout on UFC Fight Night 50, joining a slate which sees ‘Jacare’ Souza vs. Gegard Mousasi in the middleweight division, the rematch between Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz at featherweight, well as names like Alistair Overeem and Joe Lauzon. As it stands, this is the best ‘Fight Night’ event the organization has put on since its debut on Fox Sports 1. As for Moraga, he will be returning just three months after having his nose shattered against John Dodson. It seems a bit soon for that injury to have healed and for him to get a full training camp in, but John Crouch of the MMA Lab always has his charges prepared, so anything less than a 100% Moraga would be surprising. He’ll need to be at his best as he looks to rebound from his second loss in his past three fights. Granted, both losses were at the hands of two of the absolute best in the division, but with all of the young talent emerging at flyweight a skid would put him firmly at the back of the pack. Scoggins lost for the first time in his MMA career in his last outing, and it was by the slimmest of margins. Fans and media were both split on his July 6th bout with Dustin Ortiz as it went to the scorecards, but he ended up on the wrong side of a split decision. Prior to that defeat, Scoggins had been using his wrestling to pick up wins in the UFC, rather than his much-talked-about striking. He may not necessarily be discouraged from that mode of attack here however, as Moraga has struggled with his takedown defense in two of his past three bouts. The line for this bout will be tricky. These men share one common opponent, Dustin Ortiz, with Scoggins closing a -290 favorite in that bout and Moraga closing a -210 favorite (both at Several Bookmakers). Since Moraga managed to pick up the win against Ortiz and Scoggins dropped his bout, that may bring the line a bit closer than those numbers indicate, but public sentiment was that Moraga’s victory was undeserved after those 15 minutes. The hype on Scoggins will likely have cooled a bit coming off a loss, but he should still open just under 2-to-1 for this bout. The other big news coming from Saturday is that Brandon Thatch is out of his UFC Fight Night 49 bout with Jordan Mein. Thatch was replacing Thiago Alves in the bout, and it was one of the most highly anticipated fights in the entire month of August. The reason Thatch dropped out? Well, let’s just say Uriah Hall can sympathize, as Thatch suffered a compound fracture on the second toe of his left foot. As MMA fighters are fond of doing, Thatch decided to send out a couple of pictures as he waited at the hospital to get some much-needed repairs. It’s uncertain at this point if Mein will get a replacement, but given the UFC’s track record lately there could be a lightweight around the corner who is willing to fight a weight class up in order to get his foot in the door (pun partially intended).

Written by Brad Taschuk

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