It looks like John Moraga’s wish to fight in front of a hometown crowd will actually come true

On Tuesday afternoon it was revealed promotional newcomer Willie Gates will meet the former title contender at UFC on FOX 13 in Moraga’s backyard of downtown Phoenix on December 13. was the first to report the news.

This announcement comes only a few days after it was revealed Moraga’s original opponent, Jussier Formiga, had suffered an injury in training camp, forcing to withdraw from the bout entirely.

Gates (11-4), former Tachi Palace Fights champion, was last seen earning an 83-second knockout victory over Hector Sandoval to earn the TPF flyweight title in November. This victory not only pushed the California native’s win streak to five straight but also gave him first round stoppage victories in seven of his last eight bouts.

Moraga (15-3), a former wrestler out of Arizona State University, was last seen locking on a very tight second round guillotine over the highly touted Justin Scoggins at UFC Fight Night 50 earlier this month. Prior to this victory, the Maryville native suffered a second round TKO loss to Jon Dodson at UFC Fight Night 42 in June. He will enter this bout with nine career stoppage victories, including seven submissions, and a UFC record of 4-2.

UFC on FOX 13 is scheduled to take place on Dec. 13 at the U.S. Airway Center in Moraga’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. A heavyweight matchup between former champion Junior dos Santos and Stipe Miocic will serve as the night’s main event.

Here’s how the UFC on FOX 13 card is shaping up:


About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on, and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.