The UFC returns to Mexico this Saturday where Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis enters enemy territory to face local talent Brandon “The Assasin Baby” Moreno. Many UFC bettors would expect the accomplished Sergio Pettis to be the favorite, but there’s plenty of hype surrounding Brandon Moreno and most of the money has come for him.
The 23-year-old has a 15-2 record and his last loss came in 2012 when fighting in an unknown league. Moreno is a submission specialist and you can gaurantee the young Mexican will be looking for the early takedown.
Moreno is one of the best fighters in the UFC at getting the rear naked choke to land and five of his last nine fights have come via the rear naked choke.
The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale winner hasn’t beaten any notable fighters in his short time at the UFC and his real test will come this Saturday, but it’s hard not to be impressed with his ground game and Pettis has his work cut out for him.
Unfortunately for Pettis, a lack of exciting victories has held him back in the UFC to date and untimely losses keep stifiling his ability to move forward in the division.
He lost to Ryan Benoit by knockout in the second round at UFC 185 in 2015 and has only had one fight per year since. All three wins came by unanimous decision, but that’s not where the worry comes to play.
Pettis lost to Alex Caceres in 2014 and that came via the rear naked choke. There’s no doubting that Pettis would have worked on his submission defense between then and now, but it’s something bettors should be worried about.
On the other side of the coin, fighters trying to get the job done in front of their home crowd has been rare in the UFC. Alexander Gustafasson went to Sweden and lost in front of his home crowd and many other fighters have come up short.
Perhaps it’s the emotional factor, but it is something to be weary of when betting on this fight. Bookmakers currently have Brandon Moreno as the 4/7 favorite and we’d have to agree with the bookmakers. Pettis (6/4) does have a lot going for him, but he’s seemingly taking a backwards step in his brief career to date and all the momentum is with the Mexican hero Brandan Moreno.