John Moraga agreed to fight Willie Gates after an injury to Jussier Formiga left him opponent-less at UFC on FOX 13.
In the first round, Moraga might have been regretting that decision.
Upon feeling he was hit with a low blow, Moraga looked to the referee for time. When he ordered action to continue, Moraga turned away from Gates and was hit with a shot that dropped him. The one-time UFC flyweight title contender recovered and responded, submitting Gates and handing him his first loss of the year.
“I didn’t hear the ref say fight,” Moraga said. “I thought (the low blow) was pretty blatant. I felt it, but I must not have heard the ref.
“It is what it is.”
Moraga (16-3) has now won two straight since a loss to John Dodson earlier this year and is 5-2 in his seven UFC appearances. The only other Octagon loss came to Demetrious Johnson for the title in 2013.
“Willie stepped up on three weeks notice,” Moraga said. “Not a lot of people would have done that.”