All things considered, it seems Brandon Moreno thought his post-fight experience at UFC 283 on Saturday was more entertaining than anything.
Moreno ended his rivalry with Deiveson Figueiredo by third-round TKO after ‘Deus Da Guerra’ was deemed unfit to continue due to an eye injury. After he wrapped up his post-fight interview, the ‘Assassin Baby’ was rushed from the Octagon by UFC staff and security, who shielded him from the shower of food, drinks and trash thrown by fans.
Once he was out of danger, Moreno smiled and laughed his way out of Jeunesse Arena. Why? For the newly crowned UFC flyweight champion, the entire reaction from hometown fans was simply amusing.
“For me, as a Mexican, it’s kind of normal,” said Moreno on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “I’m not saying it’s correct. I think it’s a horrible thing, but I can see it in soccer, I can see it in lucha libre, you know? Again, I’m not saying it’s correct, but I live a little bit more with it like that. That’s why for me it was funny. I know that can be dangerous, but I love all the staff of the UFC because they took care of me in every single moment. All the bodyguards were there, taking care of me, so I love those guys.”
As he reflected on the reaction from fans, Moreno wondered if the confusion around the fight-ending sequence drove it. When Moreno connected with the left hand that injured Figueiredo’s right eye, the ex-champion signaled to referee Herb Dean that he was poked. The fight continued, but it was called off shortly after by the ringside physician, much to the chagrin of the audience in attendance.
To Moreno, that was the moment they turned on him.
“Maybe because they thought I poked Figueiredo’s eye,” said Moreno. “Starting from that, I don’t know. I was just happy, laughing, you know? I danced a little bit after the fight, maybe that’s why they started to get mad. I don’t know. I don’t care. I just won. I did everything right. I was very respectful in every single moment. I tried to do my best to make all the Brazilian fans comfortable with me, but hey. I can’t do more, so I’m perfect right now with that.”
For his first defense, Moreno said he expects to revisit a familiar foe in Alexandre Pantoja. The ‘Cannibal’ has two wins over Moreno, one on their season of The Ultimate Fighter and one in the UFC.