It’s time for the main event of UFC Fight Night 114, which means Sergio Pettis has the spotlight shining brightly on him and there’s no room for the shadow of his older, much more accomplished brother Anthony to intrude. That’s the theory, at least. In reality, we’ve always gazed upon Sergio through a lens filtered by what Anthony has done. Is that unfair? Of course it is. But this is the world we live in. Also in this world: Brandon Moreno, a rising star out of Mexico who fell short on TUF 24 but has kicked ass otherwise in the Octagon. Pettis is a stud striker and Moreno is a stud grappler, so let’s see whose stud skills matter most.
After a quick exchange of kicks, Moreno doesn’t wait long to catch a kick and throw his opponent to the ground. Pettis does solid work tying him up down there, but in no time Moreno is affixed to his back. For the rest of the frame Pettis is defending, while Moreno is trying to slip on that elusive choke; Pettis is successful in not getting tapped out, while Moreno clearly takes the round.
Round 2 is once more unto the breach with those high-flying kicks, and when Moreno slips and falls, he makes like he wants Pettis to join him for some cuddling. Pettis isn’t having it, of course, although he eventually goes down after another kicking exchange. After an attempt at a triangle choke, Pettis scrambles up, and the rest of the round is spent with both men emulating your local Tae Kwon Do class.
Pettis is loose and comfortable when Round 3 gets underway, and his kicks start landing more and more. Again, Moreno makes it clear he wants this fight contested on the ground – with failed takedown attempts and gestures for Pettis to join him down there – but Pettis is landing hard and often, and he wisely keeps it standing.
Moreno is bleeding, gets an eye poke and bleeds some more, and you can feel the palpable desperation cover him like a shroud. He throws punches, and even gets a takedown late, but Pettis is marking him up. The Mexican is very likely tanking on the scorecards at this point.
The fifth opens with Moreno finally getting that takedown, but Pettis absolutely stifles him, and scrambles up. Time runs out with neither man really hurting the other.
Results: Sergio Pettis def. Brandon Moreno via Unanimous Decision