Moreno was crowned champion when he defeated the Brazilian at UFC 263 earlier this month. “The Assassin Baby” submitted Figueiredo with a third-round rear-naked choke, and in doing so, he became the first Mexican-born champion in the promotion’s history.
The pair had previously met at UFC 256 last December. After a five-round war, the Fight of the Year contender was declared a majority draw. At the second time of trying, Moreno left the Octagon with 125-pound gold.
Given his dominant wins over Joseph Benavidez and Alex Perez, and his first fight with Moreno, many have suggested that a third fight with Figueiredo should be the Mexican’s first title defense.
But the champ sees things differently. Speaking during an interview with Jimmy Smith on SiriusXM’s Unlocking the Cage, Moreno stated that “Deus Da Guerra” needs another victory before he shares the Octagon with him again.
“Yeah, there’s the trilogy against Figueiredo, but the last fight, I don’t know what you think, but I really believe my performance was very dominant. So he needs another fight maybe, to think about the trilogy.” (H/T MiddleEasy)
Moreno added that whilst he is open to a trilogy fight further down the line, he’s eyeing some other contenders for his first defense, and maybe even a former UFC bantamweight Champion.
“To be honest, I don’t care. I have a lot of possible opponents. The winner between Askar Askarov and Alex Perez can be the next one, or Cody Garbrandt, he lost his last fight against Rob Font but he’s a former champ and he’s a name. He wants to go to 125, so he can be a possibility too,” Moreno said.
It seems likely that the winner of the Askarov vs. Perez fight next month will be next in line for a shot at 125-pound gold. Should the Russian remain unbeaten, Moreno will be in yet another rematch when he next enters the Octagon.
Who do you think Brandon Moreno should face in his first title defense?