John Moraga let it all hang out in front of his fellow locals.
In a three-round battle that had something for everyone, the Phoenix native rode his striking and grappling in equal measure to claim a hard-fought unanimous verdict over fellow flyweight Wilson Reis at Saturday's UFC on FOX 29 in nearby Glendale.
Moraga exited the Octagon with his third straight victory, the longest win streak of his 13-fight stint in the promotion.
In typical flyweight fashion, the pair set a furious pace from the opening bell, as Moraga picked Reis apart with his vastly improved striking. The local favorite’s offense soon had Reis shooting for a takedown, then slamming his way to freedom when Moraga committed to a guillotine choke.
The story of the latter two rounds proved nearly identical to that of the first, as Moraga hit pay dirt with hooks, uppercuts, and even a stunning jump knee to a pressuring Reis, who repeatedly flashed veteran savvy by weathering the storm with takedowns. Despite getting his back taken in both Rounds 2 and 3, Moraga – no slouch on the mat himself – stoically worked his way out of the precarious positions, and while a resilient Reis pocketed the third by chewing the clock on the mat, Moraga's exploits in the previous two frames were enough for three 29-28 nods on the scorecards.
Reis, who'd agreed to the matchup shortly before losing his brother in a motorcycle accident, is now on a career-worst three-fight skid.
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