Sunday, August 14, 2022

Brandon Moreno Weighs In On His Level Of UFC Stardom

UFC flyweight contender Brandon Moreno has commented on the narrative that he’s become a “star” in mixed martial arts in recent years.

In 2020, Moreno burst into mainstream attention by stopping the dominance of champion Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 256, where he fought “Deus Da Guerra” to a majority draw. And after earning a rematch in that FOTY contender, “The Assassin Baby” made his second opportunity count.

At UFC 263 last June, Moreno wrote his name in the history books as the first Mexican-born UFC champion by submitting Figueiredo. The rear-naked choke ended what was certainly one of the greatest performances from a title challenger in the promotion’s history.

With that success in mind, as well as the incredible story that saw him rise up from a UFC release to championship glory and his fun-loving personality, UFC President Dana White touted Moreno as a “huge star” prior to his trilogy fight versus Figueiredo earlier this year, which he ultimately lost via a narrow decision.

“He already is (a star), he already is. I’ve been saying this to everybody,” White said during an interview with Yahoo! Sports. “Watch Saturday night when that kid comes into the arena. You don’t realize it until you do. We do some of these signings, and things like that with him, this kid’s a huge star and you’re really gonna see it and feel it on Saturday.”

While, as you’d expect from the humble Mexican, he stopped short of branding himself a star, Moreno did recently acknowledge the global support he continues to receive, which is something he understandably enjoys.

Star Or No Star, Moreno Loves His Fans

During a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole, Moreno gave his own assessment of where his stardom sits.

As well as a massive fanbase in his home nation, “The Assassin Baby” noted that his support has grown exponentially in the States, as well as across the pond, which was evidenced by the meet-and-greet he took part in ahead of March’s UFC London event.

“I think my fan base — the biggest one is in Mexico, and then in the United States, I have a huge fan base, too,” Moreno said. “But I can feel a much — too much love from different countries. Actually, four months, in March, I went to London and I had a meet-and-greet there. A lot of people was there and very excited to know me. And man, that’s awesome. Feels great.”

But while the likes of Sean O’Malley and Paddy Pimblett have appeared to strive for stardom inside and outside the Octagon, Moreno said it’s not something he needs.

“I don’t know if I’m a star or not. I try to don’t think about it. If that happened, I love it. Thank you so much. If not, it’s fine for me. I just want to be nice with the people, and that’s it, man,” Moreno added. “Maybe I need to do more — I need to do more crazy stuff in social media, or I need to do more interviews, maybe.”

Moreno’s blossoming stardom will likely be on show tonight when he returns to action against previous rival Kai Kara-France in Dallas. In the UFC 277 co-main event, the pair will compete for the interim flyweight title, which has been created in the injury absence of Figueiredo.

Do you see Brandon Moreno as a “star” in the UFC?

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