Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja Flyweight Title Fight Set for UFC 290 in July

Brandon Moreno, UFC
Brandon Moreno, UFC 270 press conference Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

The UFC’s annual International Fight Week card is always the biggest of the year — and this year, it will host a title fight in the promotion’s smallest division.

Brandon Moreno (21-6-2) is set to defend his flyweight title against top contender Alexandre Pantoja (25-5) at UFC 290 on July 8, 2023 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

News of the booking was first reported by Freak MMA. Pantoja confirmed the match-up on Wednesday in a video message to fans on his Instagram Story.

“I just want to say that’s it, it’s official. In July, Las Vegas, [International] Fight Week, T-Mobile Arena,” Pantoja stated in the video. “I’m so grateful for everything I’ve had all my life for this moment. It’s a dream come true. God dreamed that for me. It’s time to get my belt. It’s my time now. I’m blessed, for everything in my life. I don’t take shortcuts. I started fighting in MMA in 2007. Long time ago. Now it’s time for Pantoja, UFC champion.”

Moreno will enter the fight having finally finished his quadrilogy with Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo. Moreno and Figueiredo were tied through the first three fights, with one win apiece and a draw. The fourth fight, at UFC 283 in January, saw Moreno open up a cut on his rival that resulted in a doctor’s stoppage following the third round.

Figueiredo’s fellow Brazilian Pantoja holds a win over the champ from their 2018 meeting in Santiago, Chile. “The Cannibal” has won three straight, including back-to-back Performance of the Night bonuses for finishes of Alex Perez and Brandon Royval.

Thus far, just a handful of fights have been reported for this year’s International Fight Week extravaganza. They include:

  • Alexander Volkanovski (c) vs. Yair Rodríguez (ic) — for the UFC featherweight championship / title unification bout
  • Brandon Moreno (c) vs Alexandre Pantoja — for the UFC flyweight championship
  • Bo Nickal vs. Tresean Gore