Liana Jojua vs Sarah Moras
UFC 242 is going to be a phenomenal night of MMA for many reasons. One thing that makes this fight card awesome but seems to be flying under the radar is that the UFC is bringing the first ever women’s MMA fight to Abu Dhabi. Liana Jojua is facing Sarah Moras on the preliminary card and they will make history together by just stepping in the cage.
Liana Jojua (-145) Stats:
- 24 years old
Liana Jojua Notable Facts:
- Record: 7 – 2
- 5 Submissions
- 85% Finish Rate
Liana Jojua hails from Tbilisi Georgia which will make her the “hometown’ fighter in this match. Georgia is in the middle east and near Iraq and Iran where as her opponent Sarah is from Canada. She may not be from Russia or Abu Dhabi but she will be closer to home and you would think this would put the crowd on her side and it will lighten the travel for the fight which is a big deal. Liana is a UFC newcomer so there isn’t much in the way of stats for her and it is difficult to get a feel for new fighters when they take on a veteran that we have plenty of information on.
What jumps out immediately about Liana is that she is mostly a ground fighter. She has 5 of her 7 wins by submission and watching those fights she is very intelligent on the ground and especially on her back. Based on her Instagram she seems like the UFC’s flavor of young up and coming fighter. She takes very good pictures and is very attractive as well as skilled, so the UFC appears to be setting her up with an opponent that they feel is a favorable match for her to gain some traction.
Liana does seem like she is limited and feels a bit out of place on the feet. She is rather slow and plodding, but she does attempt to pressure forward. She has a good 1-2 combo, but beyond that her striking is very limited and mostly just used to get the fight on the mat. Once there she has good top control and she also shows good submission defense.
Sarah Moras (+125) Stats:
- 31 years old
- 1.78 Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute
- 3.46 Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute
- 38% Takedown Defense
Sarah Moras Notable Facts:
- Record: 5-5
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt
- 4 of 5 losses by decision
Just by looking at Sarah’s record you may think she should be the underdog here, but poor records in women’s MMA are far more common and mean less than in men’s MMA as the talent pool has been thinner until just recently. Many of the women fighting in the UFC have “bad’ records because there isnt much in the way of competition before you hit the top level.
Sarah has fought against names like Raquel Pennington, Juilanna Pena, Jessica Andrade, and more recently Macy Chiasson. Just a glance at her record and you can see why she has struggled against some of the staples of women’s MMA and then against some of the new breed who are incredible athletes on the fast track to the top of the sport such as Macy and Lucie Pudilova.
Sarah is highly underrated and has been showing huge improvements in her game even though she has been losing these matches. She is a purple belt in BJJ and has a VERY offensive submission game and an intelligent guard. If she lands on bottom, her opponents are constantly in danger as she throws as many submission attacks up as she can and if she ends up on top she has some vicious ground and pound.
Sarah has been working on her striking sa well and lately has been showing far more speed and pop on her punches. Another key to this fight is going to be the travel to Abu Dhabi and Sarah was smart enough to get out there about 10 days early to acclimate to the temperature and elevation.
This is a fight where I believe Sarah is being severely underrated because of her record. Even losing her fights she has actually shown toughness, good skills, and nearly got the finish in several of them. She is also facing very athletic women who have speed and strength advantages on her and that is something I do not expect to see against LIana.
While both women are skilled on the mat I believe it is a relatively close match with a slight edge to Sarah in the agression. On the feet Sarah has shown big improvements and I think she will enjoy a large speed advantage with Liana’s striking being so limited. If Sarah is the faster cleaner striker it will be on Liana to get the fight to the ground and even if she does I think Sarah has a good chance to win this fight by submission.