Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo meet for the fourth time this Saturday in the culmination of a rivalry that might never be matched.
The UFC 283 flyweight championship co-main event marks the first time ever two fighters have competed against one another four times for the promotion. Moreno and Figueiredo are tied at 1-1-1 in the series, with their first fight ending in a majority draw, the second with Moreno submitting Figueiredo in Round 3, and the most recent outing seeing Figueiredo earn a hard-fought decision to finally score that elusive win over “The Assassin Baby.”
A few years ago, the flyweight division looked to no longer be part of the UFC’s plans, so Moreno is aware of how significant the Figueiredo feud has been for the promotion’s smallest male weight class.
“A lot,” Moreno said at UFC 283 media day. “Everything starts with Demetrious [Johnson], with his legacy and what he did in the flyweight division before. He made a statement and a lot of people think he’s the GOAT of mixed martial arts for that. Henry Cejudo saved his division from T.J. Dillashaw.
“I think that the rivalry between Deiveson and me is important, especially for flyweights. This Saturday I will make a statement about who would like this rivalry. But at the same, I am just grateful for the opportunity to be in the octagon alongside Deiveson, and to have made history .
It is worth noting there are chances that Moreno or Figueiredo won’t make history. Top contender Alexandre Pantoja will be on hand should one of them withdraw. Figueiredo has had issues making the flyweight limit in the past, but not for any of his three encounters against Moreno.
Pantoja holds two wins over Moreno (one in an exhibition bout on The Ultimate Fighter 24 and one in the UFC), which puts him at the front of the line for whoever holds the belt after UFC 283. No matter who Moreno may see in the octagon Saturday, Pantoja has kept him focused on Pantoja as well as other possible title challenges.
” I know that Saturday is my fight,” Moreno stated. “One hundred percent. I don’t care. My goal, I’m talking about history and importance, I want to finish this with Figueiredo this Saturday and then start to watch Pantoja and [Mateus] Nicolau , Manel Kape, the other names. That’s what’s most important to me. But, I know that Saturday .”
is my battle.
Another thing that Moreno is sure about? He will not fight Figueiredo if he gets another win.
” The last dance,” Moreno stated. My plan is to make this one a memorable. My plan is to finish Deiveson Figueiredo. It was something I tried before, and it felt good. That’s all.
“It is funny, because people understand me when I say, “Again these guys?” But at the same, people understand Deiveson, and we have fireworks in the octagon. The fight will be awesome, I promise, but that’s it. This guy is not the man I want to see again. Right now, I feel so happy and excited. I am ready to fight. But, I do not want to be with this guy .”