Fight week for the first UFC pay-per-view event of the year is always an exciting time, and with UFC 270, 2022 is certainly no different. The MMA community has been buzzing in anticipation of Francis N’Gannou returning to the octagon and defending his heavyweight title for the first time. Scheduled to square off with N’Gannou is the interim champion, with a dangerously accurate striking prowess, Ciryl Gane. With such a high-profile heavyweight unification bout headlining the card, it can be easy to overlook the fights that are scheduled to occur leading up to the main event. That being said, Brandon Moreno, defending his Flyweight title in a trilogy match with Deiveson Figueiredo, is far from being overlooked.
Prior to becoming the first Mexican-born UFC champion at 27 years old, Moreno experienced the classic ups and downs that can come along when attempting to pursue a successful career in mixed martial arts. Ups, downs, and sets-backs take place constantly during a combat sports career in which a single shot can change everything, but how an individual reacts to these happenings is what defines a true champion.
After becoming a titleholder on the region fight scene, Moreno was selected to be one of sixteen contestants on the 24th season of the UFC’s hit reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. Although it was a life-changing opportunity, the future 125-pound star failed to impress and was eliminated from the show, after a loss to Alexandre Pantoja. Following this loss, the young Mexican prospect received a shot at redemption in the form of a last-minute opportunity to replace Sergio Pettis, at UFC Fight Night 96 in Portland. Moreno seized the opportunity, making quick work of Louis Smolka who fell to 11 wins and 2 losses due to an unyielding guillotine choke. From there, “The Assassin Baby” continued his winning ways for two matches, before running into issues versus Sergio Pettis. These issues resulted in a unanimous decision loss to Pettis, followed by an additional defeat to Alexandre Pantoja, who he had now met twice. After his second consecutive UFC loss in May 2018, Moreno was unfortunately let go by the promotion.
Quick to sign the future champion was the Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA), who scheduled an immediate title shot…