John Moraga scored a sensational knockout as he shut down Magomed Bibulatov in the opening round at UFC 216.
John Moraga takes his record to 18-6 with another win over a promising talent in Magomed Bibulatov. After a three-fight losing streak to formidable ranked contenders, Moraga makes it two wins in a row. It seems like ‘Chicano’ has found his groove at flyweight, and will be looking to build on the positive performance moving forward.
Moraga moves up to #10 in our Flyweight Rankings, while Magomed Bibulatov drops to #16.
Not much actual fight to breakdown here. John Moraga played his game and pounced at the right moment after his right overhand landed flush. The resulting left hook laid Bibulatov on his back, and Moraga walks away with a photo finish. Russian prospect Bibulatov was expected to show out against a higher level opponent, but Moraga held his own and dealt with the danger adequately. Poise, control, patience, and power ultimately led to his highlight reel finish.
— UFC (@ufc) October 7, 2017
This is a huge moment for John Moraga as he moves forward. Another emphatic knockout over a promising talent is the exact kind of result that puts him in the title conversation. Although he was reserved and humble in victory, Moraga should be happy with that result as it raises his stock in a thin division.
Fight rating: 65/100
John Moraga once again proves himself as a flyweight standout. His growth as a martial artist is improving with every fight, and his execution was truly a thing of beauty. Looking forward it will be imperative that he keeps this string of results if he hopes to rematch DJ for the title down the stretch
Formerly undefeated prospect Magomed Bibulatov can keep his head held high even after a tough loss. Moraga is not an easy test to any flyweight, and as Bibulatov accrues experience, this will be a good lesson for the Russian to continue his development as a fighter. Future bouts in this division will truly decide whether or not Bibulatov is the prospect he is cracked up to be.
Jake is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief, based in Tasmania, Australia.