UFC Fight Night: Pettis vs. Moreno Preview
A preview of UFC Fight Night, set to take place Saturday in Mexico City.
Updated: Aug. 2, 2017 • 5:08 PM ET
Rashad Evans looks to relive his glory days at UFC Fight Night in Mexico City.
The UFC returns to Mexico City on Saturday with two high-powered flyweights in the headliner, and many young fighters that call Mexico home.
No. 6 flyweight Sergio Pettis will face No. 7 Brandon Moreno in the main event. Moreno may be one spot lower in the flyweight rankings, but he’ll have the advantage of fighting in his native Mexico in the UFC for the first time.
Despite being just 23 years old, Pettis’ resume speaks for itself, as he’s 6-2 in the UFC and riding a three-fight win streak. This is Pettis’ first time headlining an event, and a perfect opportunity to prove that he’s ready to be put in the title conversation. His biggest win is his most recent, a unanimous decision victory over former title challenger John Moraga.
Moreno is also 23 years old and fighting in his first headliner. He’s 3-0 in the UFC with two of those wins being Performance of the Night submissions, and he’ll have the comfort of the Mexican fans passionately standing behind him the entire fight.
Pettis is a dynamic athlete with excellent stand-up skills and quick feet, while his style will be countered by Moreno’s purple belt level jiu-jitsu. Will Pettis feel the pressure of fighting in his first headliner? Will Moreno fold under the pressure of fighting at home? Both fighters are aggressive and eager to climb the rankings, and fans should expect a back-and-forth battle whether on the feet or ground.
The co-main event will feature a women’s strawweight fight between No. 9 Randa Markos and Alexa Grasso. Markos is 3-3 in the UFC, but scored her biggest victory in February with a split decision win over Carla Esparza. Grasso, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, is 1-1 in the UFC. The 23-year-old striker lost a decision to Felice Herrig in February and is looking to get back into the win column.
Rest of the main card
• The main card will also feature a welterweight fight between Alan Jouban and Niko Price. Jouban, who has won Fight of the Night honors three times, is 6-3 in the UFC and coming off a submission loss to Gunnar Nelson in March. Price, 27 years old, has had two fights in the UFC: a first-round submission victory over Brandon Thatch and an overturned victory over Alex Morono that has since been ruled a no contest because of a failed drug test.
• Martin Bravo of Mexico and Humberto Bandenay will meet in a featherweight fight on Saturday. Bravo is “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3” winner and undefeated in 12 fights. Meanwhile, Bandenay will make his UFC debut Saturday.
• Former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans will make his second appearance at middleweight against Sam Alvey. This could be considered a make or break fight for Evans, as the 37-year-old is on a three-fight losing streak.
His debut at middleweight was unsuccessful, losing via split decision to Daniel Kelly in March. As impressive as it was to see Evans comfortably make 185 pounds and look good physically while doing so, he looked apprehensive and like he had lost a step against Kelly. Evans’ last win came in 2013 against Chael Sonnen, and he has had a Hall of Fame career with victories over several legends. However, a loss to Alvey could mean the end of the road for a fighter that was once on top of the UFC.
Alvey is coming off a loss to Thales Leites in April, but won his previous four fights. His biggest win was a decision victory over Nate Marquardt in January.
• Rounding out the main card is a bantamweight fight between Alejandro Perez (Mexico) and Andre Soukhamthath. Perez is the “TUF: Latin America 1” title winner and 3-1-1 in the UFC. Soukhamthath is 0-1 in the UFC.
Middleweight fight: Bradley Scott vs. Jack Hermansson
Flyweight fight: No. 12 Dustin Ortiz vs. Hector Sandoval (Mexico)
Bantamweight fight: Henry Briones (Mexico) vs. Rani Yahya
Bantamweight fight: Jose Quinonez (Mexico) vs. Diego Rivas
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims
Flyweight fight: Joseph Morales vs. Roberto Sanchez
Lightweight fight: Alvaro Herrera vs. Jordan Rinaldi