The UFC announced on Wednesday that two matches rumored for its next FOX prime time show are now official. A Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson flyweight title defense against John Moraga, and a women's fight between two recent Ronda Rousey victims, with Miesha Tate facing Liz Carmouche.
The company had been looking at getting both fights on the July 27 show at the Key Arena in Seattle, with the only holdup being medical clearance as Johnson underwent surgery on his right shoulder due to a torn labrum, while Tate was banged up in her loss on April 13 to Cat Zingano.
Both fights were officially made for the main card. While not official, it would appear the full lineup is now intact because two network-caliber fights had already been announced for the show, a pair of welterweight fights with top contenders Jake Ellenberger vs. Rory MacDonald and the final Strikeforce champion, Tarec Saffiedine, facing Robbie Lawler.
Both fights have local flavor, as Johnson fights out of Matt Hume's gym in nearby Kirkland, Wash., while Tate currently lives in Takoma, Wash.
Johnson (17-2-1) headlined a successful FOX show on Jan. 26 when he won a five-round decision over John Dodson. He was scheduled to face Moraga (13-1) in the main event of the April 13 show in Las Vegas, when he went down with the injury. Moraga is 2-0, entering UFC after the introduction of the 125-pound division, coming off a first-round knockout of Ulysses Gomez, followed by a third-round submission over Chris Cariaso.
Moraga was a member of the Arizona State Wrestling team, wrestling at 125 and 133 pounds, with current UFC stars Cain Velasquez, Ryan Bader and C.B. Dollaway, giving him a stronger pedigree in that sport than the champion whose wrestling and speed have been his strong points.
Tate vs. Carmouche was first talked about publicly on Tuesday night by MMAFighting.com reporter Ariel Helwani, on UFC Tonight, and at the time was only awaiting Tate's ability to get medically cleared.
Tate (13-4) is coming off losing in a fight of the year candidate battle with Cat Zingano on April 13 in Las Vegas with heavy stakes. A a win would have gotten her a coaching gig on the fall season of Ultimate Fighter and a pay-per-view main event in December against Rousey. Tate, a former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion, dropped her belt via armbar to Rousey on March 3, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. The match has been often talked about as the impetus in Dana White making the decision to invest heavily in women's MMA, something he had been negative on for years.
Carmouche (8-3), garnered a tremendous amount of publicity for being in the first-ever women's fight in UFC history, losing to Rousey on Feb. 23 in Anaheim, Calif. Through her endless work in promoting the fight, and how she came off on the three UFC Primetime episodes building the fight, the formerly unknown Carmouche became one of the most talked about fighters in the company.