Brandon Moreno makes history as the first Mexico-born UFC champion by defeating Deiveson Figueiredo.
Moreno (19-5-2 MMA, 7-2-2 UFC) emerged victorious in the flyweight title rematch against Figueiredo (20-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) on Saturday evening, sending fans in attendance into a frenzy.
The flyweight title bout was the UFC 263 co-main event at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. It aired on ESPN following early prelims on ESPN+ and ahead of the main card on pay-per-view.
Moreno began the fight ready to let his hands fly early and often while the champ Figueiredo stayed defensive. The Brazilian’s patience worked in his favor at moments as he found a home for a few hard counters. However, Moreno’s consistent aggression led to a hard, well-timed jab that dropped the champ briefly. The first round belonged to the challenger, who looked ready to make a statement.
Figueiredo switched up the game plan in the second round by taking Moreno to the mat early, much to the disappointment of the Phoenix crowd. Moreno stayed calm on the canvas, fighting off a couple of guillotine choke attempts before bringing the fight back to the feet. Moments later Moreno completed a takedown of his own, ending up in the champ’s full guard until the conclusion of the round.
The pair met in the center of the cage to start the third, exchanging kicks and punches. Moreno scrambled for a takedown, ended up on the champ’s back, and immediately began looking for a rear-naked choke. The champ defended well for a moment, but after adjusting, Moreno clamped back down on the submission to get the tap.
🇲🇽🇲🇽🇲🇽 VIVA MEXICO 🇲🇽🇲🇽🇲🇽
— UFC (@ufc) June 13, 2021
Moreno and Figueiredo’s first meeting at UFC 256 was not only Fight of the Night, it was one of the best fights of 2020. Saturday’s rematch had a lot to live up to in comparison, but Moreno’s spectacular submission finish made the moment special.
“For everyone in Mexico, dreams can be achieved, dreams can be achieved. Look at me now,” Moreno said in Spanish during his post-fight interview.
“I’m so f*cking happy! Viva Mexico!”
— UFC (@ufc) June 13, 2021
The flyweight division has a new king, and for the first time in any division under the UFC banner, the champion was born in Mexico. With the UFC’s recent focus on developing talent in Latin America, Moreno’s win could be the boost the region needed.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 263 results include:
- Brandon Moreno def. Deiveson Figueiredo via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 3, 2:26
- Leon Edwards def. Nate Diaz via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
- Belal Muhammad def. Demian Maia via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Paul Craig def. Jamahal Hill via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:59
- Brad Riddell def. Drew Dober via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Eryk Anders def. Darren Stewart via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-27)
- Lauren Murphy def. Joanne Calderwood via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Movsar Evloev def. Hakeem Dawodu via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
- Pannie Kianzad def. Alexis Davis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Terrance McKinney def. Matt Frevola via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:07
- Steven Peterson def. Chase Hooper via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Fares Ziam def. Luigi Vendramini via majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-28)
- Carlos Felipe def. Jake Collier via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)