Although it is the headliner for the card, it's by no means the kind of matchup that is sure to have fans buzzing. After all, Demetrious Johnson is often the forgotten champion coming from the lightest weight class in the UFC and John Moraga has never seen the main card of an event before getting his title shot.
Regardless of how you feel about this fight, it affords us the opportunity to watch a champion defend his belt on free TV and it certainly beats a weekend with no fights to watch at all. So let's take a look at this interesting bout by the numbers.
All statistics provided by FightMetric unless otherwise noted.
As we've seen with flyweight bouts in the past, these guys only know one speed. And it's really fast.
Both of these fighters will look to set a high pace and few do it better than Johnson. His pace and quickness are two strengths that he has built upon. Here's how the two stack up in terms of activity:
As we can see, both find success in the striking game by pushing the pace. However, the main difference between the two is Johnson's ability to avoid strikes. His ability to get in and out with combinations or clinch before his opponent has time to retaliate keeps him relatively free from harm in exchanges.
Johnson's persistence in going for takedowns is also going to be key.
According to Fightnomics, Moraga has never been controlled on the ground:
Pushing the pace doesn't mean much unless you're efficient while doing it. Anderson Silva is the perfect example as he rarely ranks among the top fighters in terms of work rate but uses incredible accuracy to dominate the striking game.
Here's a look at how efficient both Moraga and Johnson have been in their UFC careers.
Despite Johnson's advantage in raw takedown numbers, Moraga actually holds the better percentages. That can be attributed to the relative small sample size that Moraga provides.
He's fought in just two UFC bouts while Johnson is a UFC veteran that has fought great wrestlers in Dominick Cruz and Ian McCall.
Method of Victory
We can talk about striking, takedowns and accuracy all day, but at the end of the day all that matters is whether the fighter gets his hand raised.
Obviously both fighters in this one have had their hand raised throughout their careers. Moraga owns a 14-1 record while Johnson has posted a 17-2-1 mark. Here's how each fighter's methods of victory break down.
Looking at how each have picked up their wins, Johnson is clearly more prepared to go the distance. Not only has he won a higher percentage of his fights by decision, but he'll be taking on an opponent in Moraga who has never gone five rounds.
Conversely, it could be said that Moraga is more likely to finish the fight, having won nearly half of his fights by submission. However, Johnson has never been finished in his career.
If the numbers are any indication, we're certainly in for an interesting title fight.
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