Brandon Moreno Calls for UFC Pay-Per-View in Mexico City in 2023

Brandon Moreno was once the first Mexican born champion in UFC history, and now that he’s back on top of the flyweight division, he envisions big things in store for fighters from his home country in 2023.

Moreno closed the book on his rivalry with Deiveson Figueiredo in the UFC 283 co-main event, winning via doctor stoppage when a punch completely closed his opponent’s right eye after three rounds. “The Assassin Baby” sees many fighters from his country in prominent positions, and he believes the time is right for the UFC to return to Mexico with a signature event.

“I think as a Mexican, we deserve a pay-per-view again in Mexico City,” Moreno said at the UFC 283 post-fight press conference. “I think right now we have an amazing position where Yair Rodriguez is fighting in February, Alexa Grasso is fighting in March, and nothing is official but Irene Aldana looks like a really clear possibility for Amanda [Nunes].

“So I think this is the year for the Mexicans in mixed martial arts. I’m excited. For sure, I want to go there.”

While the much of the 2023 itinerary for the UFC remains undecided, Moreno’s next title defense appears to be pretty clear. Alexandre Pantoja has twice bested the Fortis MMA-trained champ: once officially at UFC Fight Night 129 and also in an exhibition on Season 24 of “The Ultimate Fighter 24.” Pantoja was in attendance at UFC 283, and Moreno revealed that the conversation with the top contender got progressively more intense when they crossed paths backstage.

“He came [at] me and he was very friendly with me, to be honest,” Moreno said. “When everything started, he came to me and said ‘hey man, today I feel so happy for you, congrats for the belt’ whatever and at that point everything was fine.

“Then he started to ask me like ‘when is our fight? In two months? Three months? Tell me right now!’ Like, I don’t know to be honest. Then he started to look a little bit aggressive to be honest but my only point was let me enjoy it today. Give me today. Let me have this moment with my friends, with my training partners, with my wife, with my manager and then we can make [another fight] with the social media and the trash talk, if you want but give me this moment. That was my only point.”

While Moreno only wanted a small amount of time to enjoy his second championship victory, he admits that Pantoja is likely next in line for a shot at the belt. He also pointed out a couple other worthy contenders who are making waves at 125 pounds.

“I understand how the line is right now,” Moreno said. “I think for sure Pantoja should fight next for the title. [Matheus] Nicolau is doing an amazing job right now, too, (and) Manel Kape. I think those three guys are the next ones. At the end, I don’t do the decisions. I’m just ready to fight and I’ll be ready for the guy the UFC puts in front.”
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