Brandon Moreno has his sights set on UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo – but with some hesitation.
Moreno, the UFC interim flyweight champ, is adamant about unifying the belts to finally put an end to their heated rivalry that’s spanned almost two years now. However, Moreno (20-6-2 MMA, 8-3-2 UFC) admits there’s some fear that their fourth fight could no longer be a possibility.
The Mexican standout thinks there’s a chance Figueiredo might’ve gotten too big to not be able to make the 125-pound limit required for championship bouts. Moreno thought Figueiredo looked very big when he saw him at UFC 277 last month after he defeated Kai Kara-France to win the UFC interim belt. That’s also something contender Alexandre Pantoja pointed out, saying Figueiredo looked “so fat” that night in Dallas.
“I’m not trying to make more drama than there already is, but I’m just telling you what I saw, and what I saw was a guy that – and I don’t know this for a fact – but he probably weighs 170 pounds,” Moreno told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “Yes, 170 pounds for a flyweight. I mean, my partners Marcelo Rojo and Masio Fullen, that’s what they walk around at, and they fight 145 pounds. Marcelo is going up to featherweight.
“Bro, that’s a lot of weight, and I don’t see how it’s professional to be that fat. And don’t get it mixed up. Now I’m eating everything that I didn’t eat in the last two months. I ate very good the other day. I finished my therapy, and I stopped by In-and-Out with no guilt or pain at all. But I know after this I’m going to take care of myself and up the exercise, and I’m doing to maintain a weight.
“But what’s happening? I don’t understand what’s going on with Deiveson. I know that naturally he’s big, but I don’t know.”
Figueiredo has missed weight only once in his 10-year professional career. That came in early 2020 when he was supposed to fight Joseph Benavidez for the vacant flyweight title. He defeated Benavidez by TKO but was ineligible to win the title due to the mishap on the scale.
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Moreno is eager to fight Figueiredo a fourth time. The two are tied in their championship rivalry at 1-1-1, and they’ve swapped the undisputed title at 125 pounds since late 2020.
“The Assassin Baby” has already had the scenario of never seeing Figueiredo again at flyweight cross his mind. He hopes that’s not the case since there’s unfinished business. But if that is, in fact, a reality, he just hopes Figueiredo is upfront about his weight and doesn’t put the division on hold.
“Yeah, of course, I’ve thought about that,” Moreno explained. “I’ve thought about it. I think the part of me that wants to keep making history and building legacy, that’s what hurts me most, because I want that fourth fight against Deiveson.
“We’d be the first to have it in the company, and I think in MMA overall. That’s part of history. It’s like, ‘Hey, I’m still making history. I’m still adding records to my list.’ That’s the part that would hurt.
“But on the other hand, if he can’t make the weight, all I ask is that he’s sincere and just lets everyone know he can’t make the weight, and he’s going up. That way, the fight with Pantoja would be the most logical, and we’d definitely be ready for December, and we can get this sorted out before the year’s end.”
Moreno hopes to get the fourth fight against Figueiredo in 2022. However, the champion has expressed interest in fighting in Brazil. The UFC’s return to Brazil was recently announced for Jan. 21.
“I said December (unification bout) because he said December,” Moreno said. “I saw it on one of his interviews , nd I thought, ‘Hey, December sounds excellent for me so long as I had left my fight with no injuries. I’m good.’ I came out good, and I can easily be ready for December.
“The problem is, one, his weight looks impossible for December. And two, he wants to fight in Brazil. OK, I don’t care. That’s fine, wherever he wants to fight. The problem is that I don’t want to stop again. I don’t want to be another six months waiting for him. I don’t want that. December already seems like a long time, but it’s good. I get to clear my mind a bit and maybe go on vacation. But December seems good. I don’t want to wait longer.”