Brandon Moreno is once again the undisputed UFC flyweight champion of the world, and he couldn’t be happier.
At UFC 283, Moreno scored his second win over Deiveson Figueiredo, earning a TKO by doctor stoppage after the third round to claim the undisputed flyweight title. Moreno openedly discussed the fatigue that comes with fighting the same opponent twice in the last two years. He stated that his goal was stop their rivalry. Figueiredo announced after the fight that Figueiredo would be moving up to bantamweight. Moreno achieved that feat, which he is very proud of.
” It feels very cool,” Moreno said to Arield Helwani during The MMA Hour . It feels amazing to get out of the stress and pressure. To be honest, the first time I won the title was more special because it was the first time, that’s it. It is very easy. This one, I felt like I could beat this guy, so I knew it. Even before the fight, I knew I could beat him. Just went to the Octagon, completed the task, and just felt very happy to prove to the world that I am .”
Although Moreno won Saturday’s fight, the rivalry and the bout, there was controversy. The strike that led to the eventual doctor stoppage was a punch that landed directly on Figueiredo’s eye, leading the Brazilian crowd to react poorly to the new champion. However, Moreno’s strike, despite all the criticism, was legal. Figueiredo, however, may have wanted an escape anyway.
“He doesn’t like the pressure,” Moreno said. He doesn’t enjoy being pushed back, or having to make a lot more transitions. This causes him to become tired, and can get frustrated. He likes to give up at some point in his brain. I can see it, and I saw it before, especially in the second fight against him. The game plan was not, “Wrestle with he, or do that with him.” Push the pace and put pressure on him. He will eventually want to stop the fight. I saw the replay with the doctor, I don’t want to say he quit, but his face and his body language looked like, ‘That’s it.
Now that the rivalry is over, Moreno will be able to focus on his title defense against flyweight competitors, with Alexandre Pantoja likely the next opponent. Figueiredo, meanwhile, has set his sights on the bantamweight division. Throughout his career, Figueiredo has had a notoriously difficult time making 125 pounds, even missing weight for his first ever title fight. Still, Moreno questions whether the jump up will be good for Figueiredo, though he definitely is excited to find out.
“I train with a lot of ’35ers. Moreno stated that it is a very tough division. “Number one is lightweight, talking about the most competitive division, and right now, I think second one is bantamweight division, so I don’t know. The guy is huge, very huge. Very huge for 125, but I don’t know for 135. We’ll see what happens. This guy sure has lots of power in his right hand. He might be able to get more energy from a smaller weight loss. I don’t know. I would like to know.”