Brandon Moreno showed plenty of heart, but wasn’t able to overcome the onslaught of Alexandre Pantoja.
In flyweight action at UFC Chile, Brandon Moreno squared off against Alexandre Pantoja. For Moreno, it was a chance to get back in the cage after fights with Ray Borg twice fell through, once due to Conor McGregor’s bus attack, and more recently due to health issues with Borg’s son. Alexandre Pantoja, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a loss to Dustin Ortiz at UFC 220.
The pair would have a tough act to follow, as both televised prelims from UFC Chile resulted in finishes that took under forty seconds from start to finish. That included a record setting strawweight finish of Syuri Kondo by Poliana Botelho.
Moreno opened the action against Pantoja with a heavy leg kick, that was immediately returned by his opponent. Throwing a spinning kick that sailed wide, Moreno showed plenty of flash, then continued to work his opponent’s lead leg. Both men were more than happy to exchange; it was Moreno scoring an early takedown just about a minute in. A whirlwind of transitions followed, as both fighters scrambled. Back on the feet, the pair settled down a little and looked to find their range. However, Pantoja would manage to unleash some heavy bombs on a downed Moreno towards the end of the frame. Moreno was bloodied, but made it back out for round two.
The second round played out similar to the first, with an active back-and-forth battle with both men landing big shots. By the end of the round, Pantoja still seemed like he was getting the better of the exchanges. He was backing Moreno up to the fence, landing some heavy knees, and finding a home for his combinations. Once again, between rounds, a bloodied Moreno had to be cleaned up by his corner — but he was certainly still in the fight.
In round three, Moreno looked to change things up, trying to get Pantoja to the ground. Moreno was still game, attacking with spinning kicks and standing toe-to-toe with his opponent. However, it simply wasn’t enough, with Pantoja earning the one-sided decision win.
Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Moreno by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)