Las Vegas, NV — When Brandon Moreno found out that his original opponent for UFC 255, Alex Perez, had been promoted to the main event to challenge for flyweight gold, he ran the gauntlet of emotions. “I was mad, disappointed, sad, a lot of emotions,” the Mexican flyweight told Cageside Press Saturday night, backstage at the UFC Apex following a win over Brandon Royval.
Can you blame him? Moreno was ranked #1 in the division coming into the fight. The UFC opted to promote a lower-ranked fighter to face Deiveson Figueiredo. Moreno, meanwhile, got Royval as his own replacement.
Moreno got the job done at least. While Royval was hurt in the fight, bringing it to an early end, Moreno looked dominant while it lasted. “I don’t know nothing about injuries. I just know I beat Brandon Royval, I get the W this night,” said Moreno. “That’s all that matters to me right now. I’m so happy right now.”
Later, he admitted that yes, “I know something happened in the fight. But I dominated in the fight.”
And it should be no surprise, believes Moreno, that as good as Royval is on the ground, he held his own. “Everyone forgets, all my career, I was an amazing Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter. I think right now, I’m a more complete athlete. My striking is better right now,” he pointed out. “But my Brazilian jiu-jitsu, it’s amazing too.”
Following the win, Moreno was unsure about his chances of landing a title fight. “Beat Alex Perez, and you’re the next for the title,” Moreno said he was told by the promotion prior to UFC 255. “Right now, they say the same stuff. It’s hard to believe them again, because they put Alex Perez [in the fight] for the title.”
Well, the good news came after the event. Dana White announced that Deiveson Figueiredo would fight Brandon Moreno for the UFC flyweight championship next month.
That will be the end of a tough road for Moreno — and the start of another journey, potentially. “I think my road to the title is tougher than other people. Because I’m not a trash talker,” Moreno said Saturday. “I hate going on Twitter, because there’s too much haters. I’m a martial artist. I think my statement was my fighting. And that’s it.”
Watch the full UFC 255 post-fight press conference with Brandon Moreno above.