Brandon Moreno ran through Deiveson Figueiredo to become the new flyweight champion at UFC 263. The +180 underdog made a blistering start to the fight, overwhelming his opponent with a variety of attacks, including leg kicks, body kicks, and punches. The relentless pressure turned out to be too much for Figueiredo, who tapped to a rear-naked choke in the third round.
The UFC has had champions with Mexican heritage in the past, but Moreno is the first Mexican-born fighter to win a UFC title. In no time, Moreno has become quite a star in his home country, and with his ascent to the top, ‘The Assassin Baby’ wants to take MMA in Mexico to the next level.
Here are five things you should know about Brandon Moreno.
Humble Beginnings in Tijuana
Moreno had humble beginnings. He was born into a modest family with a pinata business. Pinatas are containers made with papers, filled with presents, which are broken as part of a celebration. Growing up, Moreno always aspired to be a lawyer but quit on his dream of becoming a lawyer to pursue a career in mixed martial arts.
He joined a gym in Tijuana at the age of 12. It’s safe to say that his choice has paid dividends, as he’s now a UFC champion, and runs his own training facility in his hometown, which has witnessed a massive boom ever since he rose to fame last December at UFC 256.
TUF, UFC Release, And Return
Moreno was the lowest seed at The Ultimate Fighter season 24, where he suffered two heartbreaking defeats against Sergio Pettis and Alexandre Pantoja. He was subsequently released from the UFC. He then joined LFA, where he won the flyweight crown in his debut, forcing the UFC to sign him again.
The Mexican has made the most of his second opportunity, and he’s yet to taste defeat in his second spell with the UFC, with four wins and two draws in his six fights. With a gold belt wrapped around his waist, the sky is the limit for the 27-year-old.
Moreno: This moment is so amazing. This f–king life. UFC released me, I wasn't that proud of my life, but watch me holding this belt. I feel so amazing #UFC263
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 13, 2021
He’s A Hardcore MMA Fan
Moreno doesn’t just fight for the sake of belts and money. He fights because he is deeply in love with the sport, and has the utmost respect for everyone who pursues a similar path. He also doesn’t shy away from giving props to his peers.
During his UFC 263 post-fight press conference, Moreno said that he was inspired by Rose Namajunas’ performance against Zhang Weili. He also said that he’s a big fan of Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones and asked the MMA community to not underestimate his compatriots, Yair Rodriguez and Alexa Grasso. It proves how deeply involved he is in the game. Part of it is because he’s often seen working as a commentator and analyst in the UFC’s broadcasts in Spanish.
He’s A Huge Funko And Lego Fan
There’s more to a UFC fighter’s life than just fighting. They are just like the rest of us, with a normal day-to-day life, and Moreno is a prime example of it. In his free time, Moreno loves to collect bobbleheads and legos. He’s a huge fan of Funko, an American company that manufactures licensed pop-culture collectibles.
He’s not alone, however. UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who headlined the UFC 263 card against Marvin Vettori, also loves Funko, and Anime.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) June 10, 2021
He’s The Nicest Person In The UFC
In an age of trash-talking and showmanship, Moreno proves that you can be the nice guy and still finish first. He’s an extremely nice person, who believes in spreading love and peace. He’s also promoting positivity inside and outside of the UFC and is a great ambassador of MMA and martial arts in general.
How do you rate Brandon Moreno’s performance against Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 263?
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