Brandon Moreno isn’t tired of trading punches with Deiveson Figueiredo, at least not yet.
UFC 270 saw the flyweight greats go another five intense rounds, with Figueiredo emerging the victor by unanimous decision. Figueiredo captured a UFC title for the second time and earned his first win over Moreno in three meetings.
The Figueiredo-Moreno series is now tied 1-1-1, and while there’s a part of Moreno that wants to move on, his first priority is another fight with Figueiredo and a chance to become champion again.
“Even if I want to stop thinking about this guy, I really feel I won the fight, but the guy has the belt,” Moreno said on The MMA Hour. “I’m thinking the belt, who has the belt, it’s that guy, so I can’t stop thinking about this. Right now, I put my manager to work to push hard for the fourth one. He said, ‘I can’t sleep until I get the fourth one right now.’ So he’s working so hard to make that happen, and right now I’m just trying to recover my body, because at the end of the day, it was a real war between us and my body right now is tired as always. I’m just trying to recover myself a little bit and be ready for the next step.
“Obviously, I want the fourth fight. If it’s not happening immediately, I’m fighting with other guys, OK,” Moreno added. “But I want to fight against Figueiredo and finish this.”
Never in UFC history have two fighters competed four times inside the octagon, much less four times in a row, as would be the case with Moreno and Figueiredo.
Their first fight took place at UFC 256 in December 2020, and Figueiredo retained by majority draw in a bout that saw him lose a point in the third round after striking Moreno in the groin. The second fight was more definitive, as Moreno dominated the majority of the contest before finishing Figueiredo with a rear-naked choke in Round 3.
Given that Figueiredo was allowed an immediate rematch off of that loss, Moreno doesn’t see why he can’t be afforded the same opportunity.
“Last time, I finished the guy badly and the UFC gave him immediately the rematch,” Moreno said. “Now we have kind of a controversial — maybe it’s not controversial, but a really close fight between us. The possibility is there, I really believe in that.
“I’m putting all my energy to get that fourth fight. It’s crazy how everything is since 2020, since the first fight against him, the draw, the finish in Arizona, now this amazing fight in Anaheim. I really feel like it makes sense if we go for that fourth one.”
The third fight was a back-and-forth battle that saw Moreno land more significant strikes but Figueiredo log three knockdowns, including two in Round 3. All three judges gave 48-47 scores to Figueiredo, with Rounds 4 and 5 being disputed.
After watching the fight back, Moreno still thinks he did enough to earn the decision.
“I really believe I won that fight,” Moreno said. “Every single round. Just kidding. But for sure I won the second, the fourth, and fifth. I have this clear example, talking about the third round, because in the third round I get knocked down at the end — like six seconds before the end of the round, I get knocked down. But I was watching all the fight. I was, like, with a lot of volume, like a lot of pressure, with a lot of precision, like bam, bam, bam, bam. I understand I don’t have the power maybe, I’m not born with that power, but I’m doing my job.
“I’m [pushing] the fight, touching his face, bam, bam, bam. A lot of technique. But the judges gave him the round just for one knockdown. So I connected with 15, 20 punches, but just one punch and then they change it. I don’t know.”
One specific aspect of the fight Moreno was asked to address was the size disparity between the two as it was reported by the California State Athletic Commission that Figueiredo’s fight night weight was 15.5 percent heavier after rehydration, making him seven pounds heavier than Moreno when they stepped into the cage.
To Moreno, there wasn’t much of a difference and if anything, he felt that Figueiredo was lighter than in their first two fights.
“Maybe in the first one when we fought in 2020, yes, it felt like he’s bigger than me,” Moreno said. “But I fought against him three times, it’s not a surprise for me. Actually, I think he was light, maybe in the other ones I felt he was, like, 150 in the other ones. So I understand maybe for the people it’s like, wow, it’s amazing, but to me it’s like he’s getting that way because he’s big.”
Moreno also recalls being uncharacteristically animated at the bout’s close, and should a fourth fight be booked, he doesn’t plan to have anything left when the final buzzer sounds.
“If you see my fights, I don’t want to jump onto the octagon [fence],” Moreno said. “I don’t know why, but I never do it. I was just happy like, we did it, running a little bit around the octagon, showing to the people like, man, I’m fresh, my cardio is on point. That is another point that made me feel a little frustrated with the decision.
“But this part, the frustration is against me. Like, man, at the end of the fight you have a lot of energy. Maybe you could have spent a little bit more.”