Figueiredo had dominated Joseph Benavidez twice in 2020 on his way to the 125-pound throne. Having defended his belt with ease against Alex Perez, “Deus Da Guerra” met his match last November. In a tight Fight of the Year clash, Moreno battled to a majority draw against the champ and staked his claim for an immediate rematch.
On June 12, the pair shared the Octagon for the second time. In a historic victory, “The Assassin Baby” blew the Brazilian away, submitting him by way of a rear-naked choke in the third round.
Despite Figueiredo’s largely dominant 2020, and the fact he ran it back with the current champ after their initial five-round war, Moreno has stated that the former flyweight king must earn his way back to title contention.
But the champ’s suggestion has clearly not gone down well with Figueiredo. In an interview with MMA Fighting, the 33-year-old branded Moreno a “Pussy” and accused the Mexican of faking an eye poke in their first meeting.
“He’s a pussy. Brandon Moreno is a pussy because I was sick when I fought and beat him, and I gave him the rematch right away. I won that fight. They took a point away from me, he pretended to be hurt, he faked an eye poke so they would take points from me, but I still won. And now he doesn’t want to give me a rematch? He’s a pussy.”
Given their two-fight rivalry, Figueiredo admitted that he is surprised by the way Moreno has acted since taking the belt form him at UFC 263.
“I expected more from him, I expected him to act like a man,” Figueiredo said. “What I want the most is this trilogy with him, to fight him again. I hope he’s man enough to give me that rematch.”
Showing how much he wants a third date in the Octagon with the champ, “Deus da Guerra” even expressed his willingness to challenge for the belt in Moreno’s home country.
“I’d fight him wherever,” he said. “United States, Mexico, I just want this trilogy. He can rest assured that I won’t be the same Figueiredo of last time. I’ll come back focused and I’ll knock out this pussy inside his house.
“I deserve this trilogy because of all the great fights I’ve done. I go in there to put on a show in all of my fights. I haven’t fought well this time, unfortunately. It wasn’t Deiveson Figueiredo fighting there. I want the opportunity now. I’ll show my true self in there, a knockout artist. I won’t be so passive in there. We’ll brawl from start to finish,” said Figueiredo.
After back-to-back UFC defeats against Sergio Pettis and Alexandre Pantoja, Moreno was released from the promotion back in 2018. An impressive LFA win and an unbeaten six-fight run in MMA’s biggest promotion later, and the 27-year-old is the first Mexican-born champion in UFC history.
While a trilogy with Figueiredo remains an option for the first defense of his 125-pound gold, Moreno, who is targeting a November return, had also highlighted Cody Garbrandt and Askar Askarov as potential opponents.
But with “No Love” set to face Kai Kara-France in December, and the Russian on the side-lines through injury, the Mexican named the bout between Pantoja and Brandon Royval and Alex Perez’s return against Matt Schnell as important clashes in deciding the first challenger to his throne.
Who do you think Brandon Moreno should face for his first title defense? Should it be against Deiveson Figueiredo?