Rio de Janeiro – Now that he’s the undisputed champion once again UFC flyweight champ Brandon Moreno can breathe a sight of relief for at least a moment after he defeated Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 283 on Saturday night.
“I feel very happy with my performance tonight. To me it was very clear I was a better fighter, a more complete fighter, talking about striking, the wrestling, the jiu jitsu, right? The control on the ground. I can show that in my last fight against him,” Moreno told reporters at his post-fight scrum.
“My main focus for this one was like control my emotions, be very focused, be close to my game plan. I did it and that’s why I feel very good with my performance.”
Now that the rivalry with Figueiredo is over Moreno can say with certainty that he is the better fighter.
“I mean a lot of people ask me about that like hey what can you change after three fights with the same guy? Use all my new tools, all the new things I’ve been working with my coaches, I did it like that and I knew if I can keep my plan going around the octagon, you know in the middle of the fight, I mean. I can do a performance like tonight,” Moreno said.
The fight was stopped after the third round due to Figueiredo’s right eye being compromised from, after watching a replay, a left hand punch that injured the eye. Moreno had pushed off with his right hand following the punch, but it was clear in the replay that he had in fact not poked his opponent in the eye.
The crowd was very upset believing that Figueiredo had been fouled and the fight was stopped as a result of it.
“I think that’s why the people was very angry at the end maybe. So I saw the replay actually. The guy he kick me, I passed the leg, and I threw the hook. The hook was clear. Clear right in his right eye and then maybe that’s why the people (are) a little confused because I pushed his face with my hand. So I don’t know. Maybe that’s why people was a little bit mad with me,” said Moreno.
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The crowd showered Moreno with drinks and trash as he ran out of the arena to the back area.
“It was funny. I wasn’t expecting that. I think in the end the people will be very happy with my performance, but I don’t know. I was just trying to enjoy the moment. It was crazy how all the body guards was around me,” he said.
Moreno’s camp is never easy, but with the coaching change in the middle of it, it was near unfair. With James Krause under investigation over gambling on fights Moreno employed the services of Sayif Saud of Fortis MMA.
“He keep my mind on point. Keep my mind like very focused, very disciplined. I’m very happy to have him on the corner. Obviously everybody knows right now the thing with James, I love him, and hopefully everything can be like very clear in the future in that aspect,” Moreno said.
“I’m so happy with Sayif. He said he don’t want like any credit, but man, thank you so much for this man. He sacrifice a lot because I think I wasn’t ready to do another change because I was in Kansas and all the bad thing happened.”
Moreno took his camp back home to Las Vegas, but Saud chose to go out to Moreno to conduct his camp.
“I came back to Vegas. I wasn’t ready to do another change so he decided to come with me every single like weekend, or even before, like more days than a weekend to work. So I really appreciate it so maybe in the next one I have to go to Dallas now,” he said.
So what’s next for the flyweight king? Possibly Alexandre Pantoja who had a, at first friendly, confrontation with Moreno that turned a little bit “aggressive” as Moreno put it.
“So yeah he came with me and he was very friendly with me to be honest when everything start. He came with me and said hey man today I feel so happy for you. Congrats for the belt whatever. In that point everything was fine. Then he start to ask me like hey when is our fight like in two months, three months, tell me right now,” Moreno said.
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Moreno taken aback by the sudden change in tone stayed composed and friendly.
“Like I don’t know to be honest. You know? And then he start to looks a little bit aggressive to be honest, but man my only point was like let me enjoy today man. Just give me today. Just let me have this moment with my friends, with my training partners, with my wife, with my manager,” Moreno said.
“And then we can make another circus, and use social media, and the trash talk if you want. I don’t know, but just give me this moment. It was my only point.”