At the opening pay-per-view of 2022, the two top flyweights stole the show with another entertaining and enthralling chapter to their rivalry. While Moreno, the first Mexican-born titleholder in UFC history, hoped to extend his reign with a second win against Figueiredo, the Brazilian targeted revenge and a second stint atop the 125-pound mountain.
After five rounds of back-and-forth action, the judges were needed to decide who left Anaheim with the flyweight gold. With 48-47 scores across the board, “Deus Da Guerra” etched his name into the history books as the promotion’s first-ever two-time 125-pound king.
Moreno: ‘He Never Tried To Finish The Fight’
While Moreno performed admirably, even doing enough to win in the eyes of some, and kept the fight extremely close with his volume and speed, it was Figueiredo’s power that proved to be the difference, with knockdowns in the third and fifth frames seemingly edging him the co-main event contest.
Prior to the trilogy clash, Figueiredo, who had his first reign at the top of the weight class ended via submission at UFC 263 last June, promised he was going to take Moreno’s head inside the Honda Center.
But having gone the distance with the Brazilian, “The Assassin Baby” believes Figueiredo’s game plan actually involved doing the opposite to his pre-fight trash talk.
“I was saying in interviews, ‘Man, I’m expecting a better Figueiredo, like, more motivated, hungry for success, trying to cut my head off.’ Everything was true, except he never wanted to (finish) me,” Moreno told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “His game plan was to go the decision and (he) won like that. He never tried to really finish the fight. He connected with me and got some knockdowns, but I feel like that wasn’t the real game plan.”
That theory will no doubt be disputed by the newly crowned champ, who claims he would’ve only needed another 30 seconds to finish the Mexican in the third frame.
While the trilogy contest brought a lot to the cage, one thing it didn’t do was provide closure for the rivalry. With the score now at 1-1-1 and with Moreno calling for a fourth clash later this year, it appears the pair could make history with a tetralogy.
But with contenders like Askar Askarov, Alexandre Pantoja, and Kai Kara-France waiting in the wings, it remains to be seen whether the UFC will favor an immediate fourth fight or if it’ll choose to venture to new matchups first instead.
Would you like to see Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo 4?