Now a few days removed from the trilogy bout against Deiveson Figueiredo, [autotag]Brandon Moreno[/autotag]’s feelings remain the same.
The Mexican star wants nothing other than a fourth title fight with Figueiredo (21-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) following their clash in the co-main event of this past Saturday’s UFC 270 in Anaheim, Calif.
In a competitive, back-and-forth fight that won the card’s “Fight of the Night” award, Moreno (19-6-2 MMA, 7-3-2 UFC) lost his UFC flyweight belt, coming up short 48-47 across all three judges’ scorecards. The result put the record between them even, as they first fought to a draw at UFC 256 in 2020, and then Moreno won their second meeting via submission at UFC 263 in 2021.
Moreno feels there’s unfinished business with his rival and wants to put an end to the series to determine who’s the better fighter.
“I want my manager to push for the fourth fight; that’s all I want right now,” Moreno told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I don’t want anything else. Obviously if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be pissed. I’ll say whatever I’ll say, and then the next day I’ll be focused on the opponent. But for me, it’s very clear what I want – I want the fourth fight.
“I want to fight Deiveson, and I want to finish this. I want there to be a clear winner in all of this.”
This was the first trilogy in UFC history that went down in consecutive fights for both opponents. Moreno knows an immediate fourth fight puts other contenders on ice, and that’s why he’s open for a quick return in late spring.
“I’m willing to fight him in May or June so we don’t clog up the division and we have a finality to this,” Moreno said. “The balance is even, and this is caused by the draw in the first fight. If it wasn’t for that, we probably would’ve had a winner by now. A fourth fight is needed to close it out. Like I said, I’m willing to fight quick so we don’t clog up the division and have a solution to this.”
Like many watching from home and in the arena, Moreno thought he did enough to best Figueiredo. He understands it was a close fight and gives credit to the Brazilian for adjusting in the trilogy, but he feels the judges got the decision wrong.
Moreno feels he’s changed Figueiredo as a fighter throughout this trilogy. He doesn’t think “Deus da Guerra” is the fighter he used to be.
“What got him to the top is not there – at least with me,” Moreno explained. “He’s not the bully. He’s not the aggressive man that looks for the knockout. That’s gone. That’s what I saw from this fight. All that is gone. I saw a guy that respected me a lot, and like you mentioned, he was smart and knew how to play his cards.
“The series is tied because the first fight basically doesn’t count because it was a draw. I finished him in one fight, and he won the other in a somewhat questionable decision. If his evolution was just strategy, that’s the easiest part to solve in a fourth fight. It’s so strange how MMA works and how things develop. It seems that’s what’s next for us. Even if he doesn’t want it, and he’s mentioning (Kai) Kara-France, I think the division and the UFC wants this to truly be over, for it to be a clear 2-1 to end the story.”