It’s safe to say that Brandon Moreno has never gone through the sort of post-fight emotions he felt on Saturday.
Moreno lost his UFC flyweight championship to rival Deiveson Figueiredo in the co-main event of UFC 270, moving the score in their trilogy to 1-1-1. Figueiredo and Moreno met again in the second meeting, which ended with a draw. However, Figueiredo won the third round of the scorecards. Figueiredo was the winner.
Not only does Moreno have to deal with dropping the title back to Figueiredo, he also finds himself in the unique position of having to dwell on a result that he believes should have gone his way.
“It was strange,” Moreno stated at the post-fight press conference. It’s strange because this is the first time I have lost a decision in my entire life, but it felt like victory. It’s hard to remember the losses I suffered against [Alexandre] Pantoja and against [Sergio] Pettis. I was certain that I had lost in that instant. I was like, ‘Okay, this feels like sh*t,’ but I understand I lost, right? But this time I felt like I won, but it is what it is because it was a really hard fight.
“He also had his moments and that is something I have to acknowledge. I don’t want to be that kind of guy who starts to put excuses because I feel like Deiveson did an amazing job with a better game plan. So, I want to just go to the gym with my family to watch the fight and come back stronger .”
Moreno admitted that there were tweaks in Figueiredo’s strategy that might have altered his approach. In their second fight at UFC 263 in June, Moreno dominated the majority of the action before finishing Figueiredo with a rear-naked choke in Round 3.
The fans at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday were decidedly in Moreno’s corner, which he relished, though he now regrets not being able to give them a win.
“The energy was amazing,” Moreno said. It was amazing to go to the Octagon this evening and see all of the Mexican flags. Although I am disappointed that the crowd didn’t express more emotion, it is all it is.
“I lost and that hurts and at the same time I love when it hurts because I can feel the pain and that means to me that it’s important to me to be back. This is crazy, because there’s still a chance to fight him again. It’s crazy. I try to stay positive and see the possibility of making more history with him. It’s crazy.”
A win for Moreno would have given him a definitive edge in the three-fight series and he had joked during fight week that he had hoped not to see Figueiredo again so soon. Moreno now wants to fight for the title, and he is willing to book a fourth bout in the future.
“I’m hungrier than ever and I want to see this guy again,” Moreno said. This is it. I lost, he lost last time and he was like, ‘I want to fight against Brandon Moreno.’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to see you again.’ Now it’s like, ‘I want to see you again, man.'”
Moreno still plans to fight in 2022.. A possible return could be in May, June or July with another fight in December. However, he wants to continue training and get as much as possible.
” It’s your life,” Moreno stated. This is my life. Right now I’m just trying to be very positive and I’m trying to put my face with you guys, but it hurts. It hurts too much. I wanted to put the victory for my family, for my teammates, for Mexico, for my fans, but this is life. I lost and sometimes you lose, man.
” I have lost and am alive. I try to taste the loss every day and get back in the gym. That’s it.”