In the first televised fight of UFC 153, welterweight jiu-jitsu ace Sergio Moraes submitted fellow Ultimate Fighter Brazil veteran Renee Forte by rear naked choke in the third round. At 3:10, Moraes earned his first victory in the UFC Octagon.
A four-time jiu-jitsu world champion, Moraes (7-1) controlled the grappling exchanges with Forte (7-2), who never mustered any serious momentum despite having what looked like a clear advantage in the striking department.
What we'll remember about this fight
Not much, to be honest. This one was dull not only from an action standpoint, but from the standpoint that neither man did much to distinguish himself from a skills perspective. Though Moraes scored multiple takedowns and ultimately secured the submission, he looked lost at times on his feet and doesn't appear to be very well rounded.
What we learned about Moraes
The Sergio Moraes who fought at UFC 153 would probably get knocked out by a good welterweight striker.
What we learned about Forte
He may not be a UFC-caliber welterweight. He had good foot work and landed a strong uppercut on Moraes in the second round, but he could never really get it going in earnest.
What's next for Moraes
I'd schedule him with fellow Brazilian and jiu-jitsu specialist Marcelo Guimares. Then feed the winner to a good striker and see what happens.
What's next for Forte
According to broadcaster Mike Goldberg, before the fight Forte indicated a preference to drop down to lightweight. He might want to do that, as I see no reason for the UFC to give him another opponent at 170 pounds.
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