A flyweight title fight between current champion Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja has been announced for UFC 290 on July 8th during International Fight Week in Las Vegas.
This is actually a rematch, with the two having first fought back in May of 2018, and on that occasion it was Pantoja who came out on top via unanimous decision.
That was Moreno’s second loss in a row at the time and actually led to him being released from the promotion, but it wasn’t long before he returned after a single fight in the LFA promotion that had seen him win the flyweight title.
And since then Moreno has gone from strength-to-strength in the Octagon, with wins over the likes of Kai Kara-France, Jussier Formiga and Brandon Royval leading to a title-shot and the start of what would prove to be a four-fight rivalry with Dieveson Figueiredo, which saw the 125lb title change between them several times before Moreno eventually put a definitive end to their saga with a TKO victory back in January.
As for Pantoja, up until now he’s never quite made it to title contention. His win over Moreno was the start of a three fight winning streak, but he then lost on the scorecards to the soon-to-be-champion Deiveson Figueiredo in 2019.
Pantoja got back in track in his next fight with a KO victory over Matt Schnell, only to then lose to Askar Askarov by decision. However, the 32-year-old has since gone on another three-fight unbeaten stretch, beating Manel Kape, Brandon Royval and Alex Perez along the way, and now he finally gets his shot at the title and the chance to prove his win over Moreno wasn’t just a one-off.
Moreno vs. Pantoja joins a UFC 290 card that doesn’t yet have a confirmed headliner but will also feature another title fight as featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski takes on interim titleholder Yair Rodriguez, while Contender Series stand-out Bo Nickal fights Tresean Gore.