Brandon Moreno has set lofty goals for himself to reach legendary status like the great Julio Cesar Chavez.
Moreno became the new UFC flyweight champion at UFC 263 earlier this month by defeating Deiveson Figueiredo and, in doing so, became the first Mexican-born fighter to become a UFC champion.
The historic achievement catapulted Moreno into a new level of fame both in his home country of Mexico and worldwide. He even caught the attention of the great Julio Cesar Chavez, who congratulated the new champion.
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Moreno spoke of how revered Chavez was in Mexico and how extraordinary it was for the boxing legend to recognize and congratulate him. The new UFC flyweight champion expressed that now that he has the belt, he wants to go on reach legendary status just like Chavez in his MMA career so that maybe people will one day speak of him in similar high regards.
“I think first you have to contextualize what Julio Cesar Chavez means for my country, for Mexico,” Moreno said in Spanish. “I know that he’s world-renowned and that everyone in the boxing world knows who Julio Cesar Chavez is.
“He’s a legend, and you reach legend status when people, regardless if they like boxing or not, know your name – people know Julio Cesar Chavez. In Mexico, times that by the maximum, and to have someone like that have very nice words for you and recognize your name, it’s very special. I’ve said it before, I want to be the Julio Cesar Chavez of MMA. I want to be that point of reference, when people hear my name they say, ‘That guy is a legend in MMA; he revolutionized.’ Right now I want to evolve MMA in my country, and I hope to accomplish that.”
Chavez is recognised as one of the greatest boxers of all time. The Mexican boxer fought from 1980 until 2005 and accomplished six major world titles in three different weight divisions. At one point in his career, Chavez was undefeated with a record of 89-0-1, a legendary feat that will probably be never replicated.
Moreno looks to become the Julio Cesar Chavez of MMA and sees similar traits with him and Chavez. He compared his heart and indomitable fighting spirit with Chavez’s fight with Meldrick Taylor, a bout in which the Mexican legend was losing but valiantly persevered to eventually get the win.
“I think if i can sum it up, it’s all seen in Chavez’s most symbolic fight – the fight he had against Meldrick Taylor,” Moreno said. “I see my life in that manner. It was a fight that many thought he was losing, but at the end, with heart and pressure and being brave, he stops Meldrick Taylor and takes the win.
Moreno wants his MMA career to reflect Chavez’s fight with Taylor because he understands he does not have that invincible aura around him like someone such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was never close to losing. He understands that he can be beaten; but despite that, Moreno believes that he can be on top and dominate the fight game like Chavez once did back in the day.
“I want my career to reflect that because I’m also aware that I’m not going to be that type of champion like Khabib (Nurmagomedov), who’s undefeated and just invincible,” said Moreno. “I think I’m a very human champion. Despite all my limitations and imperfections, I can be at the top of this game.”
Do you think Brandon Moreno can become the Julio Cesar Chavez of MMA?