Opening up the UFC 153 prelims on FX, Sergio Moraes welcomed Renee Forte to the Octagon. It took him over 13 minutes, but Moraes was finally able to finish Forte with a rear naked choke at 3:10 of the 3rd round. This was Moraes's first win in the UFC after dropping a decision to Cezar Ferreira at UFC 147, he's now 7-2 in his professional career. Forte dropped his debut bout as a UFC fighter (7-2 Overall).
Moraes made it very clear in the first round that he wanted this fight on the mat. Forte didn't make it easy for him showing solid takedown defense and ability to return to his feet. The two battled for position for the first two rounds, each picking up one on the scorecards. Finally just past halfway through the 3rd round, Moraes took Forte's back and managed to finish with a neck crank.
What was the high point of the fight?
The attempted takedown that led to back control. Moraes was fighting for it, but he was very high up on Forte's back and was almost shaken loose.
Where do they go from here?
As a TUF Brazil veteran, Moraes needed this win to keep his spot on the roster. Getting the finish only makes him more valuable to the UFC. If Rick Story is given another fight after his loss to Maia, it would be a good match for both.
Forte's position with the UFC is definitely in jeopardy after his submission. The company released several fighters last week and it's hard to say if there's more to come. If he's granted another bout, a win will be mandatory to keep his UFC dreams alive.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it now, it was a fun back and forth scrap between two game opponents. Enjoy!