Chris Cariaso Says Loss to John Moraga “Lit The Fire” in Flyweight Heading Into UFC on FX 8
By Kelsey Mowatt
Heading into his UFC 155 bout with John Moraga in December, Chris Cariaso was hoping to record his fourth consecutive victory and secure a title fight with flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson as well. At the end of the day, however, it was Moraga who emerged victorious with a third round, submission win, and now he will battle Johnson on July 27th. While losing is hard for any fighter, the circumstances surrounding this defeat were particularly tough for Cariaso to swallow.
“I was pretty disappointed,” Cariaso said on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently. “I ended up breaking a couple of ribs in the second round, pretty much when I took him down, but it was a pretty disappointing loss. I felt like I was winning that fight. I was looking at the CompuBox scores, and at one point I was like 27 attacks to zero. Kicking and knees it was 47 to 11, and punching, so I was definitely dominating the stand-up going into that third round.”
“He started to attack that choke on me and I wasn’t able to defend it because of my ribs,” the 31 year-old vet added. “I don’t know. It was pretty disappointing but I learned a lot coming off that fight. I kind of had a lot on my plate before that fight, but now I was able to change some stuff, and now I’m going to be super prepared for this Jussier “Formiga” fight.”
As a result of Moraga’s Octagon debut, a first round KO of vet Ulysses Gomez at UFC on FOX 4, and his pivotal win over Cariaso, the Arizona fighter was tapped to face Johnson at UFC on FOX 8.
“I was pretty surprised actually,” said Cariaso (14-4), who will fight “Formiga” da Silva (14-2) on May 18th at UFC on FX 8 in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil. “I was very surprised. Like I said, it just lit the fire under my but, real hard when I heard that. I’m ready to go now.”
Other observers were somewhat surprised by the announcement, not because there are doubts about the decorated wrestler’s abilities, but because Moraga is still relatively new to the UFC.
“I was really surprised that they gave him that shot since he only has two fights in the UFC,” said Cariaso, who had scored consecutive wins over Josh Ferguson, Vaughan Lee and Takeya Mizugaki before fighting Moraga. “I guess I really don’t know who would be next…Ï’m ready to fight; that’s all I know.’
And does Cariaso think Johnson’s championship reign will come to an end when he faces Moraga?
“I think Demetrious for sure,” said Cariaso, when asked to predict a winner between the champion and the contender. “He’s got the speed over him and the wrestling. I think that really gives people a hard time.”
Stay tuned to Full Contact Fighter for more coverage of the upcoming UFC on FX 8 event, as well as another feature article regarding Cariaso and his May 18th bout with Formiga.