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UFC Vegas 65: Moroz Versus Maia Fight Breakdown

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Combate broke the news that Maryna “Iron Lady” Moroz(11-3) will be facing former title challenger Jenifer Maia (19-9-1). Moroz is on a three-fight win streak while Maia is on a two-fight losing skid.

UFC Vegas 65: The Iron Lady Looks To Make It Four In a Row!

Right off the bat, this is a real sleeper fight coming up on November 19th. Moroz is on the best run she’s ever had since moving up to 125 pounds. The Ukrainian fighter is a strong boxer, with a sneaky ground game. All of her finishes come via submission, but she only shoots takedowns at a .78 rate, and lands even less of them at a 22% rate. This means she strikes into her grappling and uses more of a catch mentality. This would be an insane jump in ranking for the iron lady, as she is currently unranked, taking on number 8 in Maia. No doubt the pressure is on, but the stand-up may be all the difference.

UFC Vegas 65:  125 Pound Mainstay In Maia

A three-fight win streak is all well and good, but it’s nothing Maia has not seen before. The Brazilian fighter takes on anyone, being with the UFC since 2018 she’s a real gamer. The grappling is the strongest tool for Maia, as she makes use of clinch control to do her damage. On paper, she can cause a lot of problems for her opponent, as her smothering style tends to frustrate her opponents. Maia takes her time and has solid boxing to fill in the gaps. Moroz may not have the tools to handle that clinch control style, as Maia is most likely the stronger fighter. This may seem like a big risk for Maia, with not much upside, but she could be angling to get the wind back in her sails. 

Maia Versus Moroz: Match Up

The matchmaking for this fight may seem puzzling to people who follow the 125-pound division, as Moroz is getting a big elevator up the division. This is fair, considering the shows the Ukrainian has put on in her most recent run. Not showing loads of activity after her beating Bueno Silva, but getting a clean finish over Mariya Agapova, a fight where she was never in danger. She is viewed as more of a boxer but does struggle to be accurate with the takedown, only finding the shot 22% of the time. It becomes a question of how much has The Iron Lady improved since 2020. The fans got to see a more purposeful form of Moroz, in her last outing, but can she make that work against the Brazilian? 

On the other hand, Maia is very strong for the weight class, and her plan is no secret. Considering the shorter reach of Maia, she needs to find a clinch opportunity against most of the fighters at 125 pounds. Maia needs to show new wrinkles in her game, as the division starts to catch up to her. Even so, the old game plan could work just fine in this bout.

UFC Vegas 65: Implications

Overall, this is a big turning point for both fighters. A loss for Maia would leave her with a negative record in the UFC and on a three-fight losing streak. If Moroz loses this fight, she won’t find a better opportunity to break into the rankings, leaving her with a long path ahead. Also, considering her activity rate, it would be bad news, to say the least. The pressure is on for these fighters, the stakes are high, so it’s a fight to keep an eye on. 

main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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Gonzalo Magana has been a causal MMA fan for a decade, but started following the sport more diligently in 2020. He wrestled for eight years, and has done BJJ for 2 years. These insights into combat sports motivated him to write about MMA, the greatest sport in the world.

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