As MMA continues to grow, with a recent study by Parimatch even branding it to fastest-growing sport financially in the past five years, as does its fanbase. And with that comes opportunities for fighters to develop into idols and global names.
That’s allowed the UFC to stage signings, photo opportunities, and other meet and greets across the world, with the drawing power of such events evident at the recent UFC X fan-experience event hosted during International Fight Week, which featured four signing stations and dozens of athletes appearing across a two-day period.
But while champions such as Valentina Shevchenko and Jiří Procházka, as well as stars like Charles Oliveira and Gilbert Burns, were present in Las Vegas earlier this month, the UFC president says no one can match the attraction of one Tijuana, Mexico, native.
White: “Everybody Loves Brandon Moreno”
Since capping a memorable journey, which saw him resurrect his career from UFC release to the top step of the ladder, with championship glory last June, the rising stardom of elite flyweight Brandon Moreno has been clear.
Prior to UFC 270 earlier this year, an event which ultimately saw the Mexican lose the title, Dana White suggested that Moreno has already entered the star bracket in the UFC. And ahead of the former champ’s second Octagon outing of the year, the promotional chief has shared a similar sentiment.
During a recent interview with TMZ Sports, White singled out Moreno’s meet and greets as the biggest out of any held by UFC fighters.
“You always hope that you can get that Mexican star that resonates with the Mexican fans, but this kid resonates with everybody,” White said. “Everybody loves Brandon Moreno. When we do signings with this kid, it’s probably the biggest signing that we do. I mean, who does bigger signings than Brandon Moreno,” White asked an off-camera figure. “Nobody.”
While many looked to promote themselves through trash talk and brash personalities, with Colby Covington immediately coming to mind, Moreno has developed his stardom through a simple equation — relatability and, according to White, being one of the “nicest humans” on the planet.
“One of the nicest human beings ever,” White noted.
Giving evidence to White’s remarks was Moreno’s trip across the pond in March. When the UFC returned to the UK for the first time since 2019, it brought with it “The Assassin Baby” for a London meet and greet.
It’s probably safe to say that not many UFC stars could draw a fan-filled line like the Mexican did on his first visit to England’s capital.
While his stardom has grown exponentially in recent months and years, Moreno is still only 28 years old. With that in mind, there’s plenty of time for his popularity to expand even further, starting this weekend at UFC 277.
In the pay-per-view’s co-main event, “The Assassin Baby” will run it back with Kai Kara-France for the interim flyweight gold.
Should Moreno add a second victory over the New Zealander to his record, which would likely set up a blockbuster unification showdown with three-time opponent Deiveson Figueiredo, the Mexican’s signing lines will no doubt get that extra bit longer.
Will Brandon Moreno leave Dallas with UFC gold back in his possession this weekend?