Brandon Moreno is not taking Deiveson Figueiredo and his threat to leave the UFC flyweight division seriously.
Moreno returns to the Octagon for a fight against Kai Kara-France at UFC 277 for the interim flyweight championship. Though sidelined with injuries to both hands, Figueiredo was unhappy seeing this fight get booked and threatened to leave the division. ‘Deus da Guerra’ would stay if given an increase in pay, a demand that has confused Moreno.
“I don’t know what he’s thinking right now,” Moreno told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I don’t know if it’s really for the money or he’s kind of scared. I don’t want to say he’s scared. It’s too much trash talk and I’m sick of the trash talk with this guy. I’m done with that. But I don’t know, man. He doesn’t want to fight, and that’s it. I know I have an important matchup against Kara-France, but hopefully I can see him again before the end of the year. He’s saying a lot of different, crazy stuff like, ‘Oh, I want more money and if the UFC doesn’t give me more money, I’m going to go to bantamweight.’
“Like anybody cares, man,” continued Moreno. “Nobody cares. It’s not like he’s moving to 135 and the UFC is going to go, ‘Oh, OK. He moved to 135? OK, I’m going to give you more money now.’”
A fourth fight between Figueiredo and Moreno was expected to happen next. Given how close all of their fights were and the immediate mutual interest, Figueiredo vs. Moreno 4 did not seem out of the question, and the UFC reportedly planned the quadrilogy for an event in July. However, the plan hit a snag, and the reigning flyweight champion said no to fighting the No. 1 contender again.
Uninterested in waiting around for the fourth (and potentially final) fight, Moreno has shifted his focus for now. He still wants Figueiredo, but is concentrating on his upcoming rematch against Kara-France with gold on the line.
“That was the original plan,” said Moreno. “Everybody wanted that fight. The UFC, I wanted that fight obviously. Everybody except Figueiredo. He wanted — I don’t know what he wanted, to be honest. But he said no, and I felt a little bit frustrated because I’m lying to you if I’m saying I’m not here for money, because I love money, too. I love to buy stupid things, but imagine the legacy. Four fights against somebody, the first one in [UFC] history. That sounds amazing. Obviously, I’m crossing my fingers to fight him again in the future, but I don’t know. I’m so focus on Kai Kara-France right now.”
Should he win the interim flyweight championship, Moreno would love nothing more than to unify the titles against Figueiredo. The 28-year-old sent a message to his former foe, urging him to stay at flyweight and be part of the first-ever quadrilogy in UFC history.
“I’ll be disappointed [if Figueiredo leaves flyweight] because just imagine the legacy, the history,” said Moreno. “Wow. If Figueiredo is watching this or maybe watches this in the future, just stop saying stupid things. Just wait for me and I’ll see you in the future, man. More than money, more than whatever. Legacy, brother. We can make it together. He’s my partner, he doesn’t understand he’s my partner.”
UFC 277 is scheduled for Saturday, July 30, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.