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Brandon Moreno feels he beat Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 270, admits it ‘hurts’ to lose in front of supportive fans

It’s safe to say that Brandon Moreno has never gone through the sort of post-fight emotions he felt on Saturday.

Moreno lost his UFC flyweight championship to rival Deiveson Figueiredo in the co-main event of UFC 270, moving the score in their trilogy to 1-1-1. Like their first meeting (which ended in a majority draw), Moreno and Figueiredo went to the scorecards but this time Figueiredo came out on the winning end of a unanimous decision.

Not only does Moreno have to deal with dropping the title back to Figueiredo, he also finds himself in the unique position of having to dwell on a result that he believes should have gone his way.

“It’s weird,” Moreno said at the evening’s post-fight press conference. “It’s a weird feeling because it’s the first time in my life when I lost a decision but I felt like I won? I remember my last two losses against [Alexandre] Pantoja or against [Sergio] Pettis, I knew in that moment I lost. I was like, ‘Okay, this feels like sh*t,’ but I understand I lost, right? But this time I felt like I won, but it is what it is because it was a really hard fight.

“He had his own moments too and I need to recognize that. I don’t want to be that kind of guy who starts to put excuses because I feel like Deiveson did an amazing job with a better game plan. So I just want to go to the gym and spend time with my family and watch the fight again and be back stronger.”

Moreno admitted that there were tweaks in Figueiredo’s strategy that might have altered his approach. In their second fight at UFC 263 in June, Moreno dominated the majority of the action before finishing Figueiredo with a rear-naked choke in Round 3.

The fans at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday were decidedly in Moreno’s corner, which he relished, though he now regrets not being able to give them a win.

“The energy was amazing,” Moreno said. “Going to the octagon this night, watching all the Mexican flags, all the people around the arena, all the crowd screaming my name, that feeling is incredible. Obviously, I feel a little bit disappointment to not put more emotion in the crowd that night, but it is what it is.

“I lost and that hurts and at the same time I love when it hurts because I can feel the pain and that means to me that it’s important to me to be back. It’s crazy because the door is open for the fourth fight against this guy and that’s amazing. I just try to be very positive in my life and I can see that possibility and start to make more history with this guy. It’s crazy.”

A win for Moreno would have given him a definitive edge in the three-fight series and he had joked during fight week that he had hoped not to see Figueiredo again so soon. However, now that he’s chasing the title again, Moreno is open to booking a fourth fight in the near future.

“I’m hungrier than ever and I want to see this guy again,” Moreno said. “This is the game. I lost, he lost last time and he was like, ‘I want to fight against Brandon Moreno.’ I was like, ‘I don’t want to see you again.’ Now it’s like, ‘I want to see you again, man.’”

The loss doesn’t change Moreno’s plan to fight three times in 2022. He estimated a possible return in May or June with a third fight to happen in December, but otherwise he just wants to get back to training as soon as possible.

“It’s life,” Moreno said. “This is the life. Right now I’m just trying to be very positive and I’m trying to put my face with you guys, but it hurts. It hurts too much. I wanted to put the victory for my family, for my teammates, for Mexico, for my fans, but this is life. I lost and sometimes you lose, man.

“I lost before and I’m alive and I’m here and I just try to feel the taste of the loss and go back to the gym. That’s it.”