Alexandre Pantoja Beats Brandon Moreno By Split Decision In 5 Round War At UFC 290

Alexandre Pantoja won the flyweight title by split decision against Brandon Moreno tonight at UFC 290 in an instant classic tonight back-and-forth battle.

Round One:

The co-main event flyweight title fight is underway in Las Vegas!

Immediate flurry of punches from Pantoja, but Moreno clinches up and turns him into the cage. Moreno just looking for control here, while Pantoja tries to find a few short strikes. Pantoja finally manages to create space, land a knee and back away.

Moreno with a combination that lands. Another brief clinch then back to striking. And again into the clinch and out again. Moreno with a couple of punches. Pantoja misses a low kick.

Pantoja drops Moreno with a left hand. Pantoja on top landing ground and pound elbows and opens up a cut to his right eyebrow while almost securing the crucifix position too.

Moreno kicking Pantoja away and back up to his feet, but the right side of his face is soaked in blood.

Pantoja landing more hard strikes now. Another flurry for Pantoja and Moreno lands too.

Right hook for Moreno. Kick from Pantoja is caught and enables MOreno to dump him to the mat. Pantoja straight back up though and now he gets his back against the cage.

Moreno able to get away in the final 10 seconds of the round. Moreno throwing a big punch just as the round ends.

Round Two:

Moreno pumps out the jab but then Pantoja lands his. Pantoja with a big flurry of punches and a low kick.

Hard right hand from Moreno but Pantoja has a good poker face. Intense exchanges now and Moreno is a little quicker to land.

Grazing hook from Pantoja. Jab for Moreno. Pantoja a little slow as he punches and Moreno is able to get in close and take him down in the center of the Octagon, securing his back.

Half the round still remaining here. Pantoja scrambles and gets Moreno off his back. Bit of an awkward spot as Moreno tries to secure top control again, then they get back upright.

Moreno lands a solid punch and presses for more. Pantoja’s pace has slowed and there’s still a long way to go.

Moreno’s striking on the other hand looks sharp. Pantoja threatens with a front kick upstairs that narrowly misses.

Pantoja catches Moreno with a jab as he was coming forward. Moreno working his jab. Big left hook from Pantoja. Pantoja with a knee, but Moreno catches it and brings him to the mat just as the round ends.

Round Three:

Pantoja aggressive with punches to start. Moreno clinches and Pantoja lands a knee to the groin that forces a brief stoppage.

Moreno quickly ready to get going on. Three-piece combo for Pantoja and an elbow from Moreno that opened up a cut. Pantoja clinches up and works a takedown.

Pantoja has Moreno’s back and the body triangle is in tight with most of the round remaining. More starting to scrambles and then really commits to it and gets on top. Moreno opts to stand up.

Series of jabs land nicely for Moreno. Big uppercut from Pantoja. Straight left for Pantoja and a big head kick from Moreno.

Moreno with rapid-fire punches and a low kick. Body strike from Pantoja. Head kick from Moreno. Pantoja strikes his way into the clinch and works for a takedown, but Moreno defends it and pushes him away.

Pantoja drives back into another takedown attempt and lands it this time. Moreno does well to scramble up and now he’s on top. Pantoja lands an upkick though.

Moreno working on top, but Pantoja finds a way to his feet. Intense action. Body punch from Pantoja and a hook from Moreno.

Both fire out the jab. Left hook and a leg kick on the other side from Pantoja. Great fight so far.

Round Four:

Jab from Moreno and a kick for Pantoja. Pantoja presses forward with jabs, but Moreno lands a good left hook. Pantoja works to the body. Moreno with a flurry and Pantoja responds in kind.

Punch and a low kick from Pantoja. Both slugging at close range and each landed a hard hook there.

Elbow lands and Pantoja lands a takedown. Moreno does well to scramble back upright but Pantoja is still clinched to his back.

Pantoja drags Moreno to the mat. He’s in side control, but Moreno is so tricky to keep down. Awkward spot now almost in north south as Pantoja tries to maintain top position. Moreno pops up and Pantoja hops onto his back, then slides back down to the body lock. Moreno fighting his hands, but it’s not easy to break his grip. Pantoja drags him back to the mat.

Pantoja thinking about an arm triangle, but Moreno is able to turn into him and get on top. Pantoja with upkicks.

Now Pantoja gets back to his feet. Moreno busy with punches here and steps into a hard elbow that lands well just before the bell sounds. Action-packed round again!

Round Five:

Slower start to the final round now. Both not throwing anything yet as they size each other up from range.

left hand for Moreno. Moreno with a flurry and Pantoja lands a straight punch. Pantoja connects again.

Moreno with busy punches and the final one lands nicely. Left hand for Pantoja. Double jab for Pantoja and more behind it.

Two lengthy jabs from Moreno. Now a double-jab from Pantoja. They exchange hooks. left hand for Pantoja and two in response from Moreno.

Heavy body punch from Pantoja. Pantoja into the clinch and Moreno lands a couple of left hooks. A bit of separation and then Pantoja drives into the takedown against the cage and lands it.

Moreno scrambling up and Pantoja hops onto his back as he stands. A little more than 90 seconds of the fight remaining as he works from this advantageous position.

Pantoja with a few punches now. Moreno biding his time but there’s less than a minute to go now. Pantoja trying to work for a potential choke, but gives up on it. Pantoja staying tight to him in the final seconds and we’re headed to the judges scorecards.


What a tremendous fight then with the action going back-and-forth at a very high pace from start to finish and both fighters being bloodied up in the process.

The judges scorecards are in and we have a new flyweight champion, Pantoja wins by split decision (46-49, 48-47 x2). Pantoja already held two wins over Moreno in the past (one on TUF and one in the UFC), but he had to earn his title shot the hard way and now finally he has seized the title in an incredible showdown between the two.

This was such a close and highly entertaining fight though that another title clash between them is surely inevitable.

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