We have a new World Champion! Monster Energy congratulates Brandon Moreno on taking the UFC Flyweight Championship title from Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 263 on Saturday night. In the co-main event fight at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, the 27-year-old from Tijuana, Mexico, took the title from the 33-year-old Brazilian by third-round submission victory.
Moreno’s flyweight title victory earned one of two $50,000 Performance of the Night bonuses. Moreno also made history by becoming the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first-ever Mexican-born champion.
“I’m born in Tijuana, I grew up there, I went to the school there. So I know with this belt, I put the sport on another level and that makes me feel amazing,” said Moreno in his post-fight interview at UFC 263.
UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2 took place on Saturday night in front of 17,208 fans at Gila River Arena and a global audience of PPV viewers. The event featured two UFC championship fights on the main card, including the highly anticipated rematch between newly minted Monster Energy athlete Moreno and defending UFC Flyweight Champion Figueiredo.
Figueiredo (20-2-1) and Moreno (19-5-2) had previously gone the distance in their headline fight at UFC 256 in December 2020. Moreno had earned his title shot on the strength of three consecutive victories against Kai Kara France, Jussier Formiga and Brandon Royval. The first title fight against Figueiredo ended in a majority draw after Round 5 with Figueiredo retaining the title, immediately eliciting calls for a rematch. After an intense training camp at Entram Gym in Mexico, Moreno was ready to run it back in Arizona on Saturday night.
Right from the start, Moreno showed his determination with lightning-fast attacks and quick reflexes. Using his precise jabs as a major weapon, the challenger dropped defending champion Figueiredo with a stiff left in the opening round, which ended with Moreno in top position on the ground.
The second round saw Figueiredo fire back, threatening Moreno twice with his notorious guillotine choke. But Moreno not only escaped the Brazilian’s submission attempts. He also managed to reverse positions to pressure for a tapout while outpacing Figueiredo with significant strikes.
The Arizona crowd erupted when Moreno landed a heavy right hand early in Round 3 and pursued another takedown. This time, the challenger successfully took Figueiredo’s back to lock in the showstopper, a Rear-Naked Choke that forced the defending champion to tap out. At the 2:26 minute mark of round three, referee Mike Beltran called the submission victory for Moreno.
After defeating Deiveson Figueiredo to win the UFC Flyweight Championship, Moreno celebrated in the Octagon with his wife and daughter. In a show of sportsmanship, Figueiredo raised the new champion on his shoulders. It was an emotional moment for the first-ever Mexican-born UFC champion in the history of the promotion.
“I worked so hard for this,” said Monster Energy’s Moreno upon receiving the UFC Flyweight Championship belt in Arizona on Saturday night. “Watch me now holding this, man. It’s unbelievable. I made it a goal to be better every day and watch me now! I'm so happy! Let’s go!”
Speaking on his training camp at Entram Gym in Mexico, Moreno said: “I learned [a lot] about myself. I can talk with you about a lot of technical stuff like the kicks, the boxing, Muay Thai, all that stuff. But I learned [a lot about] my mind, it’s made with another material, different material definitely. I worked so hard, six months. This training camp was so long.”
Saturday night’s UFC Flyweight Championship victory is a crowning achievement in Moreno’s career. Moreno made his UFC debut in 2016 after appearing as a contestant in The Ultimate Fighter: Tournament of Champions reality television show. But after a two-fight losing streak in 2018, he was released from the UFC and spent a brief stint in the Legacy Fighting Alliance promotion. Fully reinstated as a UFC fighter in 2019, Moreno returned to the winner’s circle and advanced to become the #1 ranked flyweight before taking the 125-pound division title on Saturday at UFC 263.
Brandon Moreno counts amongst Monster Energy’s elite UFC athletes along with Jon “Bones” Jones, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal, Chris “The All American” Weidman, Daniel Cormier, Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley, Dominick “Dominator” Cruz, Yair Rodriquez, Rose Namajunas, Tony Ferguson, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Maycee “The Future” Barber, Paulo “The Eraser” Costa, Stipe “Stone Cold” Miocic, Michael Chandler, Jessica-Rose Clark, and Valentina Shevchenko.