Brandon Moreno is ready to go. But for now, he has to play a waiting game.
Healthy and training, Moreno (18-5-2 MMA, 7-2-2 UFC) hopes a UFC flyweight title rematch against champion Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC) is around the corner – ideally, April. For now, however, Moreno claims the ball is in Figueiredo’s court.
“I’ve been in the gym since the fight, training extremely hard,” Moreno recently told MMA Junkie using a translator. “In my conversations with my manager, Jason House, I told him that I’m ready for April, and he’s pushing the UFC hard. But apparently, Figueiredo thinks a little differently than us. When he was cornering his brother, he looked a little chubby, so I don’t really know if April would work.”
Figueiredo and Moreno battled in a 2020 “Fight of the Year” candidate at UFC 256 in December. The bruising battle ended in a majority draw. The outcome left the door open for an immediate rematch, a booking UFC president Dana White expressed interest in following the conclusion of the event.
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Since UFC 256, Figueiredo has angled for a fight against Henry Cejudo in numerous interviews. Moreno understands the move from a financial perspective, but doesn’t expect the UFC to take the bait and go with off-the-board matchmaking.
“It’s easy, he just fights for money, and he knows that he has a real and dangerous problem against me,” Moreno said. “I’m not the quote-unquote pay-per-view superstar, and he needs to get more cash, a bigger payday. Wanting to fight Henry over me is simply a financial decision for him.
We’ve seen time and time again that anything can happen in this sport,” Moreno continued. “But I think anybody that saw our first fight believes a rematch should be in order. I get lovely messages almost every day saying it’s one of the best fights they’ve ever witnessed. I want nothing more than to give the fans five more rounds.”
Having already gone five rounds with the champion, Moreno thinks he’s figured Figueiredo out. With a few small adjustments, Moreno expects he’ll be the only fighter who has his hand raised, and fulfill his goal of becoming the UFC’s first Mexican-born champion.
“I’ve discovered the great secret of ‘Figgy,’” Moreno said. “He just tries to intimidate you and get you off your game – make you beat yourself. Once you cross that off the wall, you can see he’s just a human like you and me. I’m proud of my performance in our first fight, and I know I’m going to be twice the fighter I am when I’m back in the Octagon.”