Recently minted undisputed UFC flyweight champion, Brandon ‘The Assassin Baby’ Moreno has explained how his first attempted title defence could come against former bantamweight champion, Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt — as well as distancing himself from an immediate trilogy bout with Deiveson ‘Deus Da Garra’ Figueiredo.
Taking co-headlining honours at UFC 263 in June, Moreno rematched undisputed flyweight champion, Figueiredo at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona — having battled with the Brazilian finisher to a majority draw in a Fight of the Year contender last December in the main event of UFC 256.
Moreno, who is currently in the midst of his second stint under the UFC’s banner, became the first Mexican-born champion in the history of the organization — stopping Figueiredo with a third round rear-naked choke.
Following his submission victory, the Tijuana native was immediately linked to a trilogy pairing with Para native, Figueiredo — given his recent history with the gold holder, however, as of publication, a third bout between the two has yet to be penned.
One name which has also risen as a potential opponent for the recently minted, Moreno is former one-time UFC bantamweight gold holder, Garbrandt. The Ohio striker is currently ranked as the #6 bantamweight in the promotion’s official pile following a one-sided unanimous decision loss to Rob Font at UFC Vegas 27 in May.
Of note, the former Team Alpha MMA trainee was slated to headline UFC 255 last November against then-flyweight champion, Figueiredo in a planned divisional move. However, lingering health issues amid a positive COVID-19 test result as a torn vein in his bicep ruled the knockout artist from proceedings.
Despite the recent loss, Garbrandt is still expected to target an eventual drop to the 125lbs limit. And during a recent interview with former UFC heavyweight contender, Brendan Schaub, Moreno explained how there are currently numerous possible opponents for his first flyweight title defence — including Garbrandt.
“To be honest, I don’t know (about an immediate rematch with Figueiredo) because I’m not the matchmaker, but I don’t think it’s my next fight,” Moreno said during an appearance on Food Truck Diaries
“I think he (Deiveson Figueiredo) needs to fight one more time. It’s not because I’m scared or something like that, but the fight (rematch) was a (sic) domination. Right now, the possibilities are crazy. Cody Garbrandt is wanting to come to the division, he’s a former champ. He’s not in the best place of his career, but he’s a name.“
Moreno went on to explain how despite the recent dip in form, which has seen Garbrandt suffer four losses in his last five bantamweight outings — the name value that the Ohio native brings could help bolster the profile of the flyweight ranks.
“He’s (Garbrandt) a possibility, completely,” Moreno explained. “And that (fight) can build even more (sic) the 125lbs division — and that makes me feel so excited.“
Undefeated in his last six outings since his return to the UFC, Moreno has been involved in a pair of draws with Figueiredo and Askar Askarov — as well as lodging victories against Kai Kara-France, promotional alum, Jussier Formiga, as well as a November stoppage over upcoming August feature, Brandon Royval.
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