The flyweight division has dealt with a lack of contenders in recent years, but two of the division’s most promising prospects are set to face off in the main event of UFC 114 tonight (Aug. 5, 2017) from Mexico City, as No. 6-ranked Sergio Pettis will battle No. 7-ranked Brandon Moreno.
Pettis, the younger brother of former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, has won three straight fights at 125 pounds, and if he can add a win over Moreno to his resume, he’d like a chance to challenge dominant flyweight king Demetrious Johnson:
“I feel like an impressive win would definitely get me into title contention,” Pettis told MMAJunkie. “The division needs a new face, and I feel like I’m going to be the next one to do it. I feel like a lot of these guys played into Demetrious’ game. They’re all elephants. They saw the mouse and got scared. I’m not afraid. I think my timing is what’s going to happen now. I’ve went through what I’ve went through, took my (losses), grown from them, and I think I’ve gotten better as a person, as a martial artist. If that’s what’s next on the route, I believe that’s what I want, and I believe that’s what they’ll give me.”
Moreno, on the other hand, is no slouch, as the 23-year-old has won all three of his Octagon bouts to date, with two of those victories coming by way of submission. He owns UFC victories over Louis Smolka, Ryan Benoit and Dustin Ortiz. If he can secure a win over Pettis, he too will likely land in title contention.
The flyweight title is set to be defended next month, as Johnson will look to defend his strap for a record setting eleventh straight time when he takes on top contender Ray Borg in the main event of UFC 215 from Edmonton, Canada.