After 28 years and 550+ events, the UFC finally has their first Mexican-born champion. Brandon Moreno snapped up the flyweight crown from Deiveson Figureiredo on Saturday, June 12th, in Glendale, AZ, off the back of a third round submission victory. The win marked the seventh fight in a long unbeaten streak for the talent out of Tijuana, after he and ‘Deus Da Guerra’ fought to a draw back in December of last year. Following the win, Moreno was visibly overcome in the Octagon.
“This moment? This moment is so amazing, brother,” Moreno told Joe Rogan immediately after the bout. “This f-cking life, man. This f-cking life. After getting released from the company, I was on the border in my life. But, watch me now, talking with you, holding this heavy belt, man. I feel so amazing, brother.”
After being informed that he was the first UFC champ to hail from Mexico, Moreno added, “...watch me f-cking now, I’m champion. Viva Mexico!”
And the ‘Assassin Baby’ isn’t the only one reveling in his success. Fellow countryman and famed boxing talent Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. recently spoke to TMZ about Moreno’s big win. The multi-division boxing champion had only positive words for the Entram Gym fighter’s performance in the Octagon, calling Moreno’s victory “incredible” and “historic.”
“A lot of blessings,” Chavez added through a translator. “And remember that the difficult part is not to get where he is at, but to endure. That’s the tough part. Blessings and God bless.”
Moreno sat down with TMZ for his own interview, where he responded to the boxing great’s kind words and advice.
“Man, that is crazy. That is definitely crazy, you know?” Moreno said, when asked for his thoughts. “He’s an example for me, you know? Actually, he’s not just for me, I think for every single Mexican, you know? For the fans of boxing, for the fans of combat sports around the world, Julio Cesar Chavez is, like, a legend. A living legend in Mexico. And that makes the message, for me—it’s so special, and I’m grateful to hear that.”
“Man, I don’t know, what can I say? Definitely is crazy. I don’t have enough words to explain the feelings right now. It’s special.”
Moreno went on to recount Chavez’s message in more detail, adding that the advice he got from the ‘Lion of Culiacan’ is definitely something he’s taking to heart.
“Definitely, I understand that, you know?” Moreno admitted, referencing Chavez’s words on the difficulty of keeping the belt. “Everybody says that, and they say that because it is real. In some points, it is relatively easy to get the belt. But to keep the belt? To keep your level really high? To compete with all these hungry guys? It’s hard. But, man, I really feel I’m ready for that challenge.”
No word yet as to who Moreno might face in his first title defense. However, given that he fought to a draw with current top contender Askar Askarov back in 2019 – the first fight of Moreno’s UFC return – it seems likely that a rematch with the Russian will be looming on the horizon. For now, though, Moreno can take some time to bask in fact that he’s carved out his spot in UFC history.