A familiar face will look to add fuel to the fire heading into the trilogy fight for the flyweight title at UFC 270 between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno. The former enlisted the services of former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo for his January 22 fight.
Cejudo and Moreno have a long history between them. The former helped Moreno early in his career, letting him stay at home while helping him with whatever he needed. Things changed between the two when Cejudo cast Alexandre Pantoja over Moreno during The Ultimate Fighter 24. Moreno then began working with Joseph Benavidez, who faced Cejudo during the finale of The Ultimate Fighter. Benavidez and Moreno continued to train with each other throughout the years.
Both feeling betrayed, a dispute has developed between Cejudo and Moreno, with Figueiredo joining. Appearing in mma fights Trocaçao Franca podcast, Figueiredo spoke about the incorporation of Cejudo. Figueiredo originally looked to fight Cejudo at one point. Knowing Moreno well after training with him, Cejudo can get an idea of how to defeat the reigning champion.
“Brandon Moreno is dirty, that’s all I have to say about him,” Figueiredo said. via MMA Fighting. It’s dirty. He is a traitor. When I got to Scottsdale [Ariz. at the Fight Ready gym,] Henry Cejudo told me about his betrayal. He lived with Henry Cejudo here and later became [Joseph] Benavidez’s sparring to fight Cejudo, so that was his biggest betrayal.
“That’s why Cejudo comes with me [to the fight], to look him in the eye. Cejudo will be in my corner to look at this little punk’s face, and I’ll knock him out. Mark my words.”
Figueiredo made his professional debut in 2012 and joined the UFC in 2017. He fought Benavidez twice for the UFC flyweight title. The 34-year-old boxer lost weight in the first fight against Benavidez, rendering him ineligible to win the title. In the rematch, he beat Benavidez cleanly to win the belt. Moreno joined the UFC in 2016, but the promotion let him go in 2018 after only two losses to them. He joined the LFA and impressed UFC bosses so much in his debut fight there that he returned to the promotion in 2019. Moreno is 4-0-2 in his last six bouts.
Both athletes tied at UFC 256 in December 2020. During the fight, Figueiredo had a point deducted for repeated blows to the groin. At UFC 263 in June, the two competed in a rematch, with Moreno submitting Figueiredo early in the third round. While the contenders continue to make their mark in the division, the trilogy fight was the only fight that made sense.
Cejudo retired in May 2020 but is still active in the MMA community. Figueiredo, who usually heads into fights at top speed, credits Cejudo with helping him become a much more patient and calm fighter.
“I’m happy to have him by my side,” continued Figueiredo about Cejudo. “That gives me confidence in myself. I’m 100 percent focused on this fight, bro. I can’t wait to go back to Brazil and take this belt with me. The fire is burning within me to enter that octagon and finish at once ”.
UFC 270 takes place inside the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The main event will be Francis Ngannou versus Ciryl Gane to determine the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion.