Brandon Moreno is the First Mexican to Win a Title in the UFC
- Brandon Moreno submitted Deiveson Figueiredo to win the UFC flyweight title at UFC 263.
- Moreno is the first Mexican to win a championship in the UFC and he accomplished the feat during his second tour of duty with the promotion.
- The Mexican entered the fight as a +180 underdog on Friday and a +1200 to win the fight via submission.
Call him the Cinderella Man.
Brandon Moreno was the 16th seed in The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions and was cut by the UFC in 2017. But he did not give up. He kept the faith and kept working on his game until he got back to the UFC and moved to the top of the rankings.
Now, he is the first Mexican fighter to win a title in the UFC promotion:
BRANDON MORENO IS THE NEW MEN’S FLYWEIGHT CHAMP!
He is the first Mexican-born champion in UFC history 🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/ZoJPjgAkxF
— ESPN (@espn) June 13, 2021
— *+sizzzzle+* (@fxsizzzzle) June 13, 2021
Four years ago, Moreno made a promise that he would become champion one day. Unfortunately, after that submission win over Dustin Ortiz at UFC Fight Night 108, Moreno lost back to back fights to Sergio Pettis and Alexandre Pantoja. The UFC cut him and he went to the LFA and won the organization’s flyweight belt in his promotional debut. That earned him a second chance in the UFC.
Even Moreno’s second chance didn’t start well. He figured in a split draw against Askar Askarov in his first fight back in the Octagon. But he would go on to win his next three fights to emerge as the flyweight division’s no. 1 contender. He fought Figueiredo at UFC 256. That bout ended in a majority draw, but only because Figgy was deducted one point due to an illegal ground strike.
Because of that, Moreno entered Saturday’s rematch as a sizeable betting underdog at the best UFC betting sites. The Assassin Baby was a +185 at Bovada four days before the fight. He was a +180 on Friday afternoon at BetMGM. Aft DraftKings, Figueiredo winning by KO,TKO, or DQ was favored at +165 with 28% of the betting action and 35% of the total bets. Moreno winning by submission had the longest odds at +1200, making up for 5% of the action and 5% of the bets. Moreno literally beat the odds, and kept his promise.
— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) June 13, 2021
There was plenty of bad blood between these two after their first bout, well at least as far as Figueiredo was concerned. The Brazilian didn’t like how Moreno talked about their first fight and vowed to knock out the Mexican. Figueiredo even shoved Moreno during the Press Conference stare downs although he offered his challenger a fist bump during the final face off after the weigh-ins.
On fight night, it was Moreno who looked like he wanted to prove a point. He started out strong and dominated Figueiredo from start to finish. Sure, Figgy had his moments in the fight, but he looked tentative at times and overwhelmed in many of their exchanges. Perhaps Moreno got to his head that his anger consumed him. Or perhaps Moreno did his homework better.
The Mexican looked a step ahead of the Brazilian right from the get go. Moreno’s speed was the difference in the striking and grappling. The challenger did everything much faster and the champion could not keep up. After the fight, Moreno’s reaction to winning the belt was one of the best moments ever. But Figueiredo showing sportsmanship and gracefully accepting defeat was an incredible moment.