UFC Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno has revealed the important advice his fellow Mexican titleholder Canelo Alvarez gave him.
In one of the most heart-warming title wins of 2021, Moreno reached the 125-pound mountaintop at UFC 263 in June. It came just two years and six fights after he was released by the promotion following back-to-back losses against Sergio Pettis and Alexandre Pantoja.
Having returned to MMA’s biggest stage and built a three-fight winning streak that included triumphs over Kai Kara-France and Brandon Royval, Moreno earned a shot at Deiveson Figueiredo’s gold. At UFC 256 last December, the pair went to war in a Fight of the Year contender, which ended in a majority draw.
As expected, the two elite flyweights collided once again exactly six months later. This time, in front of a sold-out Arizona crowd, “The Assassin Baby” dominated, finishing “Deus Da Guerra” with a third-round rear-naked choke.
After injuries to Askar Askarov and Alexandre Pantoja prevented them from challenging for the title, Moreno will defend his belt for the first time in a trilogy fight against Figueiredo at UFC 270 on January 22.
Moreno Learned A Thing Or Two From Boxing’s P4P King
Moreno will certainly be looking to put in a similar display when he shares the Octagon with Figueiredo for the third time. And a meeting with fellow Mexican champion Canelo Alvarez would certainly have done no harm to that quest.
A month out from his championship victory, Moreno joined boxing’s pound-for-pound best in the gym. Not only was it an opportunity for the flyweight champ to mingle with his nation’s top sportsman, but it was also a chance for him to learn from one of the greatest pugilists of all time.
During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Moreno discussed his first meeting with the 31-year-old, and dispelled a myth about the Guadalajara native’s character.
“Yes, (it) was my first time (meeting Canelo). I just wanna say, that guy is amazing. He’s a really good guy because, a lot of people thing he’s a little bit like, I don’t know how you say in English, but a bad guy, not a good people, but the guy is serious, definitely is a little bit serious, but he’s very honest and he has a really good vibe. With him, and around him, all the people around him, it’s like, very professional, with really good vibes.”
Canelo boasts a remarkable 57-1 record inside the squared circle. His only blemish came at the hands of the consensus greatest of all time Floyd Mayweather. Thanks to wins over the likes of Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin, Amir Khan, and Sergey Kovalev, the Mexican became the first boxer in history to become an undisputed champion at super middleweight.
Given Canelo’s incredible success and accomplishments in the ring, it stands to reason not many are more qualified to give lessons on dealing with fame and championship glory. With that in mind, Moreno said the boxing great reminded him to remain focused on his career, even with the “luxury” that will begin to surround him.
“I talked a little bit with him, with Canelo. He give me some advice about, you know, about the success, about the glory, what happens when you have all this success, what happens with the people around you. (He said) ‘You need to be focused on the goal, and you need to be focused in your career with all the luxury around you.’ But man, now I know why the guy is the best in the world right now in boxing.”
With Canelo’s advice under his belt, Moreno will push forward with his reign atop the flyweight throne. Given Figueiredo’s work with former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo, it’ll seemingly be a battle of legends’ advice come January 22.
What do you make of Canelo’s advice for Brandon Moreno?