John Anthony Moraga[3] (born March 20, 1984) is a Mexican American professional boxer and mixed martial artist who competes as a flyweight and featherweight in MMA and boxing, respectively. He is best known for his lengthy career Ultimate Fighting Championship which saw him challenge for the UFC Flyweight Championship in 2013.

John Moraga
Born (1984-03-20) March 20, 1984 (age 35)
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[1]
Weight125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st)
Reach66 in (168 cm)[1]
Fighting out ofPhoenix, Arizona, United States
TeamArizona Combat Sports
WrestlingNCAA Division I Wrestling[2]
Years active2009–present (MMA)
2012, 2019–present (boxing)
Professional boxing record
By knockout1
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout3
By submission8
By decision8
By knockout2
By submission1
By decision4
Other information
UniversityArizona State University
Notable school(s)Maryvale High School
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog


Early lifeEdit

Moraga was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. He attended Maryvale High School and then chose to go to Arizona State University where he was a two-time University Freestyle All-American wrestler for the Sun Devils.[4]

Early mixed martial arts careerEdit

Moraga started his professional career at 2009 in Arizona for the local organization Rage in the Cage. There he achieved an undefeated record of 6–0, until his fight against John Dodson at 2010, in which he lost by unanimous decision. After this setback he won five straight bouts to make his way into the UFC. He is of Mexican heritage.

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

Moraga was expected his promotional debut against Ian McCall on August 4, 2012 at UFC on Fox 4.[5] However, McCall was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by Ulysses Gomez.[6] Moraga won the fight via KO in the first round.[7]

Moraga next faced Chris Cariaso on December 29, 2012 at UFC 155.[8] Moraga was victorious with a third round guillotine choke submission. His victory also earned him Submission of the Night honors.[9]

Moraga was expected to face UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson on April 13, 2013 at The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.[10] However, Johnson was forced out of the bout with an injury and Moraga was removed from the event as well.[11]

Moraga eventually faced UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC on Fox 8 on July 27, 2013. Moraga showed promise in the first round as he landed some good strikes standing. However, the champion began to wear him down with his wrestling. Despite hurting Johnson in the fourth round with a punch, he lost the fight via submission in the fifth round.[12]

Moraga was expected to face Darren Uyenoyama on December 14, 2013 at UFC on Fox 9.[13] However, Moraga pulled out of the bout with an undisclosed injury and was replaced by promotional newcomer Alptekin Ozkilic.[14]

Moraga faced Dustin Ortiz on January 15, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 35.[15] He won the fight via split decision.[16]

A rematch with John Dodson took place on June 7, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 42.[17] He lost the fight via TKO due to a doctor stoppage between rounds two and three after a knee Dodson threw late in the second round broke Moraga's nose.[18]

Moraga faced Justin Scoggins on September 5, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 50.[19] Moraga defeated Scoggins via submission in the second round, securing a guillotine choke after being taken down.[20]

Moraga was expected to face Jussier Formiga on December 13, 2014 at UFC on Fox 13.[21] However, Formiga pulled out of the fight on November 21 and was replaced by Willie Gates.[22][23] Moraga won the fight via submission in the third round.[24]

Moraga faced Joseph Benavidez on May 23, 2015 at UFC 187.[25] Moraga lost the back and forth fight via unanimous decision.[26]

Moraga faced Matheus Nicolau on July 8, 2016 at The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale[27] He lost the fight via split decision.[28]

Moraga was expected to face Zach Makovsky on December 10, 2016 at UFC 206.[29] However, Moraga pulled out of the fight in early November citing injury and was replaced by Dustin Ortiz.[30]

Moraga next faced Sergio Pettis on January 15, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 103.[31] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[32]

Moraga faced promotional newcomer Ashkan Mokhtarian on June 11, 2017 at UFC Fight Night 110.[33] He won the one-sided fight by unanimous decision.[34]

Moraga faced Magomed Bibulatov on October 7, 2017 at UFC 216.[35] He won the fight via knockout in the first round.[36] This win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[37]

Moraga faced Wilson Reis on April 14, 2018 at UFC on Fox 29.[38] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[39]

Moraga faced Deiveson Figueiredo on August 25, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 135.[40] He lost the fight via TKO in the second round.[41]

On February 7, 2019, it was reported that Moraga was released from UFC.[42]

Post-UFC careerEdit

Moraga is expected to face Hector Sandoval at ARES 2 on April 3, 2020.[43]

Professional boxing careerEdit

Just before joining ranks of the UFC, Moraga made his professional boxing debut against Jose Marrufo, losing the bout via unanimous decision.

After he was released from the UFC in 2019, he continued with his boxing career by defeating Brandon Foss via technical knockout in the second round.[44]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Amateur wrestlingEdit

Mixed martial artsEdit

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • Rage in the Cage
    • Rage in the Cage Bantamweight Crown (2012)
  • Trilogy Championship Fighting
    • Trilogy Championship Fighting Bantamweight Champion (2011)
  • Sherdog
    • 2013 All-Violence First Team[49]

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
26 matches 19 wins 7 losses
By knockout 3 2
By submission 8 1
By decision 8 4
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 19–7 Deiveson Figueiredo TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Gaethje vs. Vick August 25, 2018 2 3:08 Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Win 19–6 Wilson Reis Decision (unanimous) UFC on Fox: Poirier vs. Gaethje April 14, 2018 3 5:00 Glendale, Arizona, United States
Win 18–6 Magomed Bibulatov KO (punch) UFC 216 October 7, 2017 1 1:38 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 17–6 Ashkan Mokhtarian Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt June 11, 2017 3 5:00 Auckland, New Zealand
Loss 16–6 Sergio Pettis Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Rodríguez vs. Penn January 17, 2017 3 5:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Loss 16–5 Matheus Nicolau Decision (split) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Cláudia Finale July 8, 2016 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 16–4 Joseph Benavidez Decision (unanimous) UFC 187 May 23, 2015 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 16–3 Willie Gates Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC on Fox: dos Santos vs. Miocic December 13, 2014 3 4:06 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 15–3 Justin Scoggins Submission (guillotine choke) UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi September 5, 2014 2 0:47 Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States
Loss 14–3 John Dodson TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Khabilov June 7, 2014 2 5:00 Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Win 14–2 Dustin Ortiz Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou January 15, 2014 3 5:00 Duluth, Georgia, United States
Loss 13–2 Demetrious Johnson Submission (armbar) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Moraga July 27, 2013 5 3:43 Seattle, Washington, United States For the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Win 13–1 Chris Cariaso Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 155 December 29, 2012 3 1:11 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Submission of the Night.
Win 12–1 Ulysses Gomez KO (elbows and punches) UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera August 4, 2012 1 3:46 Los Angeles, California, United States Flyweight debut.
Win 11–1 Jose Carbajal Decision (unanimous) Cage Rage: On the River 2 July 7, 2012 3 5:00 Parker, Arizona, United States
Win 10–1 Maurice Senters Decision (unanimous) Rage in the Cage 160 June 22, 2012 3 5:00 Chandler, Arizona, United States Won the RITC Bantamweight Championship.
Win 9–1 Matthew Garcia Submission (armbar) Coalition of Combat: The Bangers Ball February 25, 2012 1 3:10 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 8–1 Freddie Lux Submission (guillotine choke) Trilogy Championship Fighting: Rumble at the Ranch 2 November 5, 2011 1 0:49 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Won the TCF Bantamweight Championship.
Win 7–1 Nathaniel Baker Submission (armbar) Martinez Brothers Production: Sun City Battle July 9, 2011 3 2:27 El Paso, Texas, United States
Loss 6–1 John Dodson Decision (unanimous) Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion December 11, 2010 3 5:00 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Win 6–0 Aldo Escudero Decision (unanimous) Rage in the Cage 143 July 31, 2010 3 5:00 Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Win 5–0 Travis Halverson Submission (guillotine choke) Rage in the Cage 142 June 26, 2010 1 1:17 Chandler, Arizona, United States
Win 4–0 Pat Donovan Submission (triangle choke) Rage in the Cage 140 March 20, 2010 2 1:12 Chandler, Arizona, United States
Win 3–0 Evan Morton Decision (unanimous) Rage in the Cage 139 February 13, 2010 3 3:00 Tucson, Arizona, United States
Win 2–0 Al Decastro TKO (punches) Rage in the Cage 138 December 4, 2009 1 1:15 Mesa, Arizona, United States
Win 1–0 Sam Shapiro Decision (unanimous) Rage in the Cage 136 November 7, 2009 3 3:00 Prescott Valley, Arizona, United States

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
2 fights 1 win 1 loss
By knockout 1 0
By decision 0 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
2 Win 1–1   Brandon Foss TKO 4 12 October 2019   Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, Chandler, Arizona, US
1 Loss 0–1   Jose Marrufo UD 4 12 April 2012   El Zaribah Shriners Auditorium, Phoenix, Arizona, US

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Fight Card - UFC 187 Johnson vs. Cormier". Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  2. ^ Michael Riordan (July 28, 2013). "Dear UFC, John Moraga and Jake Ellenberger Were Never Collegiate All-Americans". Bloody Elbow.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (July 23, 2013). "John Moraga: flyweight's mystery man". Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  5. ^ staff (July 19, 2012). "Ian McCall vs. John Moraga added to UFC on FOX 4 in Los Angeles". Archived from the original on July 21, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  6. ^ Ulysses Gomez replaces injured Ian McCall at UFC on Fox 4 by Tristen Critchfield ( on July 23, 2012
  7. ^ Matt Erickson (August 4, 2012). "UFC on FOX 4 results: John Moraga knocks out Ulysses Gomez in flyweights' UFC debuts". Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  8. ^ staff (November 22, 2012). "John Moraga vs. Chris Cariaso slotted for UFC 155 in Las Vegas". Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
  9. ^ "UFC 155 Bonuses: Miller, Lauzon, Duffee, Moraga Earn $65,000 Awards". December 30, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  10. ^ Dave Doyle (February 11, 2013). "Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga headlines TUF 17 Finale". Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  11. ^ staff (February 26, 2013). "Demetrious Johnson injured, title fight with John Moraga off TUF 17 Finale". Retrieved February 26, 2013.
  12. ^ Dann Stupp (July 27, 2013). "Demetrious Johnson overpowers John Moraga, defends title". Retrieved July 28, 2013.
  13. ^ Luke Thomas (September 29, 2013). "Darren Uyenoyama vs. John Moraga set for UFC on FOX 9 fight card". Retrieved September 29, 2013.
  14. ^ Dave Doyle. "Injury forces John Moraga out of UFC on FOX 9 bout with Darren Uyenoyama". Retrieved 2013-11-26.
  15. ^ Staff (2013-12-05). "John Moraga vs. Dustin Ortiz added to UFC Fight Night 35 in Georgia". Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  16. ^ ShinSplints (2014-01-15). "UFC Fight Night 35 results: John Moraga ekes out split decision over Dustin Ortiz". Retrieved 2014-01-15.
  17. ^ Jesse Holland (2014-03-26). "John Dodson vs John Moraga on tap for UFC Fight Night event on June 7 in Albuquerque". Retrieved 2014-03-26.
  18. ^ Steven Marrocco (2014-06-07). "UFC Fight Night 42 results, photos: John Dodson (and doc) stop John Moraga". Retrieved 2014-06-07.
  19. ^ Staff (2014-08-02). "John Moraga vs. Justin Scoggins added to UFC Fight Night 50 in September". Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  20. ^ John Morgan (2014-09-05). "UFC Fight Night 50 results: John Moraga chokes out Justin Scoggins". Retrieved 2014-09-05.
  21. ^ MMA Fighting Newswire (2014-09-22). "John Moraga slated to face Jussier Formiga at UFC on FOX 13". Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  22. ^ John Morgan (2014-11-21). "Jussier Formiga out at UFC on FOX 13, John Moraga needs new opponent". Retrieved 2014-11-21.
  23. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2014-11-25). "Willie Gates replaces Jussier Formiga, meets John Moraga at UFC on FOX 13".
  24. ^ Dave Doyle (2014-12-13). "UFC on FOX 13 results: John Moraga rallies past Willie Gates in strange fight".
  25. ^ MMA Fighting Newswire (2015-02-18). "UFC 187 rounds out main card with fights between Andrei Arlovski-Travis Browne, John Moraga-Joseph Benavidez". Retrieved 2015-02-18.
  26. ^ Steven Marrocco (2015-05-23). "UFC 187 results: Joseph Benavidez sweeps John Moraga in 'reckless,' wild slugfest". Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  27. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (2016-05-20). "UFC flyweight John Moraga returns against Matheus Nicolau at TUF 23 Finale". Retrieved 2016-05-20.
  28. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2015-07-08). "TUF 23 Finale results: New flyweight Matheus Nicolau takes split from ex-title challenger John Moraga". Retrieved 2016-07-08.
  29. ^ Staff (2015-10-05). "Light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier defends title at UFC 206 in Toronto vs. Anthony Johnson". Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  30. ^ Staff (2016-11-07). "Ortiz replaces Moraga on UFC 206 card". Retrieved 2016-11-07.
  31. ^ Staff (2016-12-29). "John Moraga in for Formiga vs. Sergio Pettis, Drakkar Klose meets Devin Powell at UFC Fight Night 103". Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  32. ^ Andrew Pearson (2017-01-15). "UFC Fight Night 103 results: Sergio Pettis topples John Moraga unanimously". Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  33. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2017-03-23). "Benavidez-Nguyen, Moraga-Mokhtarian added to UFC Auckland". Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  34. ^ Steven Marrocco (2017-06-10). "UFC Fight Night 110 results: John Moraga outclasses newcomer Ashkan Mokhtarian to end skid". Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  35. ^ Mike Sloan (2017-08-02). "UFC 216 bolstered with several bouts". Retrieved 2017-08-02.
  36. ^ "UFC 216 results: John Moraga KOs 6-1 favorite Magomed Bibulatov with vicious left hand". MMAjunkie. 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  37. ^ "UFC 216 bonuses: Demetrious Johnson's late finish became his eighth UFC fight-night bonus". MMAjunkie. 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  38. ^ Staff (2018-02-03). "Ex-title challengers John Moraga, Wilson Reis meet at UFC on FOX 29 in Arizona". Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  39. ^ "UFC on FOX 29 results: John Moraga wins heated scrap with Wilson Reis". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  40. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2018-06-21). "John Moraga meets Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC Lincoln". Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  41. ^ Erickson, Matt. "UFC Fight Night 135 results: Deiveson Figueiredo takes out John Moraga after body shot". MMAjunkie. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  42. ^ "Champ Henry Cejudo: UFC should tell me flyweight plans 'out of respect'". MMAjunkie. 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  43. ^ Carroll, Peter (2020-01-28). "Nordine Taleb, John Moraga set for debuts at ARES 2 in Brussels on April 3". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  44. ^ Ariel Helwani [@arielhelwani] (13 October 2019). "Former UFC title contender John Moraga competed in boxing last night. He won via 2nd round knockout. He is no longer with the UFC and wants to pursue a career in MMA and boxing, his manager Abraham Kawa says. He had one pro boxing fight in 2012 but nothing since" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  45. ^ UFC on Fox 8 Factgrinder: The Wrestling of Demetrious Johnson and John Moraga by Mike Riordan ( on July 22, 2013
  46. ^ NCAA wrestling championships await Sun Devils (March 13, 2007)
  47. ^ John Espinoza - Arizona State University
  48. ^ "UFC 216 bonuses: Demetrious Johnson's late finish became his eighth UFC fight-night bonus". MMAjunkie. 2017-10-08. Retrieved 2017-10-08.
  49. ^

External linksEdit