Brandon Moreno is ready to leave Deiveson Figueiredo for good.
For the past two years, the UFC flyweight title has been dominated by the ongoing rivalry between Moreno and Figueiredo. After fighting to a draw in their first meeting at UFC 256, the two split their next two fights, headlining the first ever UFC tetralogy to take place at UFC 283.
There have been ups and downs between the two during this time, and as they head into the home stretch before their last fight, Moreno said things are getting shaky again.
“It’s very weird – it’s weird because we did a media tour and stuff and it’s always the same,” Moreno told Ariel Helwani in an interview. Hour of MMA. “From the first fight with him in 2020, in Arizona, then in Anaheim, everything is so fake with him, his character and all that. He’s trying to look like a bad guy. But people can’t see the fake with it. He tried to bully me here in Rio in November, but I said, “I don’t care, man. What can you do? We’ve fought three times already.”
Moreno said that acquaintance takes its toll. After spending an entire year solely focused on dating Figueiredo again and again, he believes his game suffered in their trilogy.
Thus, Moreno argues that the interim title fight with Kai Cara-France at UFC 277 was a welcome respite from the monotony and rejuvenated him ahead of his fourth fight with Figueiredo.
“Of course I feel tired, but in the last fight against him, I felt even more tired,” Moreno said. “Fighting him in Anaheim, I felt like I was done with this guy. But now, after the fight with Kai Kara-France, I feel like I have a new perspective on my career. I took a little break from the same game plan against Daveson, the same face, the same promotion of this guy trying to intimidate me.
“So of course I’m still tired of him, but I’m excited. I feel a different atmosphere than in the last fight. I am so excited to fight him again and become the undisputed champion of the company, and with this fight I will put a beautiful sticker on my legacy.”
However, this time for Moreno, things are different. The interim flyweight champion was forced to train during training due to the ongoing investigation into James Krause. But perhaps more importantly, the fight is taking place in Figueiredo’s hometown as part of the first UFC card in Brazil in nearly three years.
Brazil is one of the most intimidating fan bases in MMA, and Moreno is considered public enemy #1 at UFC 283. But he doesn’t care, and he’s not even sure it’s true.
“I don’t care,” he said. “People say that, but first of all, people feel very comfortable with me. I’m from Latin America, so we have a lot of different traditions in how we communicate with each other. And secondly, I don’t think Figueiredo has a good relationship with the Brazilians. So let’s see what happens. I’m prepared for the worst case scenario, but I don’t know. I feel that in the end the Brazilians will be with me.”
Whether the crowd loves or hates him, in the end, Moreno doesn’t matter. Most importantly, regain the undisputed flyweight title and hopefully end my rivalry with Figueiredo for good.
“I will definitely finish this guy in the third or fourth round,” Moreno said. “[Then] we move on with my life. Don’t worry guys, there will be no more Moreno vs Figueiredo after all this. I’m doing my best for this, and we’ll see what happens.”
UFC 283 will take place on January 21 at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.