UFC 263 was an unpredictable event with several legendary moments for mixed martial arts history. A standout moment of the night occurred in the co-main event where Brandon Moreno would outclass the previous champion, Deiveson Figueiredo. “The Assassin Baby” came out firing and dropped Figueiredo in the first round. After putting the pressure on in the second, Moreno secured the rear-naked choke in the third to become the first Mexican-born UFC champion. Let’s take a look at his amazing story.
The Ultimate Fighter and Legacy Fighting Alliance
Moreno was one of the least popular fighters on The Ultimate Fighter 24. In the end, his low seed (the lowest that season) would be enough for him to part ways with the UFC. The Mexican-born flyweight was on a rocky road, and after being cut by the UFC, it seemed as though he would never reach his full potential. This was not the case, as Brandon Moreno would go to another promotion named the LFA.
During his time with the LFA, he would only compete for the flyweight championship, this put him right back in the conversation to be re-signed by the top combat sports promotion. His TKO victory to win the LFA championship was enough to catch Dana White’s eye and Moreno would find himself back with the most elite athletes on the planet.
The Final Run Before His Title Shot
Brandon Moreno jumped back into the UFC against a rising prospect in Askar Askarov. The thrilling bout between two title contenders would result in a draw. This was a win-win for both competitors as they stayed in the promotion and actually progressed in the rankings. With two more decision wins, Moreno found himself sharing a card with the champion Figueiredo. UFC 255 would see Moreno get a first-round TKO over Brandon Royval, with this quick finish having only a few seconds difference from Figueiredo’s main event finish. After the event, both fighters would agree to headline the next pay-per-view.
Brandon Moreno and Deivison Figueiredo would go to war for 25 minutes at UFC 256. They landed bombs to the head and body, but neither man would fall, with it looking really even the judges had the champ ahead by just one round. However, a low blow to “The Assassin Baby” would cost Figueiredo a point and so, the contest was declared a draw.
Brandon Moreno Becomes Champion at UFC 263
This past Saturday saw the rematch that fans had been eagerly anticipating, the second time around for what would always be an exciting, action-packed contest. With a full camp and everyone looking healthy, we saw a grappling heavy style from both men. One highlight moment came in the first round when Moreno would drop the champion.
The second round came, and we saw a shell of what Figueiredo had done in the past. The man known for his quick finishes and devastating power seemed lost. “The Assassin Baby” picked up on the slight stance change and the urgency the champ had to get the fight to the canvas. Moreno would win the second round by holding top position and ultimately outclassing Deus Da Guerra.
The third round saw a beautiful trip from Brandon Moreno where he would transition to the back, stay patient and work his way to the neck. With the champ showing great heart and defense, the Mexican proved to be too much for Figueiredo. The rear-naked choke that won “The Assassin Baby” the belt was much more than just a tight submission: it was a finish that was inspired; it was the moment that all of Mexico was waiting for, Moreno had the squeeze of a whole country behind him.
Thank you for joining me in looking back at the career of Brandon Moreno so far. What a moment it was for him and all of combat sports.
Follow me on Twitter @LeoJJohnson20 and follow @OTHeroicsMMA for more great content! And don’t forget our Instagram, overtimeheroics_mma. Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Featured Image Credits to: Embed from Getty Images