Flyweight title challenger Brandon Moreno knows the task ahead of him is difficult, but by no means does he think it’s impossible. Scheduled to take on Deiveson Figueiredo, at UFC 256, the ‘Assassin Baby’ is aware that his opponent is a frightening power hitter, but the Mexican doesn’t feel ‘Deus da Guerra’ as the most technical fighter in the division.
In an interview with Combate, Moreno emphasized how he needs to be careful not to get caught by Figueiredo or KO’d, like many others before him. However, he also thinks he can outsmart the champion in the Octagon in order to secure the first ever UFC title for a fighter from Mexico.
“Obviously, Deiveson is the champion for a few reasons,” Moreno admitted. “His last fight was incredible, his strength, his cardio, he has a good chin. I know all of his strong suits and skills. At the same time, I know I can beat him. It’s difficult, but I believe in myself, I’ll find a way. He’ll try to rip my head since the first round, but he only has one strike, his right hand, which is powerful. I need to be smart. I’m faster, more technical than he is, so I need to use this in my favor to win.”
Should Moreno win the title on Saturday night, the believes that victory could be a game-changer for Mexican MMA. By becoming the first ever Mexican UFC champion, he feels like he could inspire many other young athletes to try mixed martial arts and be a role model for children in Mexico.
“The belt means everything to me,” Moreno said. “It’s the title fight, the fight of my life. It can change everything, not just for me but for my family. I can change the game in my country and Latin America. I see that Brazil has many opportunites, but the sport was born there. You can go to a gym and find lots of good guys to help you. There’s not much of that in Mexico. I can change a few things with this title.
“To raise the flag and be the first ever Mexican UFC champion means everything to me.” Moreno continued. “Everything has been difficult in my life. I’ve fell down many times, but I got back up after each fall and kept on working. I could be a good role model for the children.”
With four wins and one draw in his last five outings, Brandon Moreno (18-5-1) earned his title shot after a TKO victory over Brandon Royval, back in November. Before that, the 27-year-old also scored wins over Jussier Formiga, Kai-Kara France and Maikel Perez, while fighting Askar Askarov to a split draw. His last loss dates back to May 2018, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Alexandre Pantoja.
Moreno vs. Figueiredo is set to headline UFC 256 on PPV this weekend. Alongside the flyweight title fight, a lightweight top contender’s bout between former interim champ Tony Ferguson and submission ace Charles Oliveira is planned for the co-main event. Along with former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos facing off against rising prospect Ciryl Gane. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes as fight night approaches.