Newly crowned flyweight champion Brandon Moreno is looking to freshen things up after his back-to-back fights against Deiveson Figueiredo, and has suggested another high-profile opponent for his next fight rather than heading straight into a trilogy encounter.
“It’s obvious Figueiredo wants the next one because he lost the last one,” Moreno said during a media sit-down this week. “But man, the last fight, I dominated him, in the first round, in striking, in grappling, in wrestling, so obviously I’m open to fight again with him. But I think he needs to fight with somebody.”
So who does he have in mind instead? It seems that Moreno likes the idea of fighting former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt next.
“Cody Garbrandt wants to come in to the division, and I know he’s not in the best part of his career, but he’s a good name,” Moreno said. “He’s a former champ. He has a really good brand behind him. He’s an option.”
That may be a tough sell since Garbrandt has only won once in his last five fights, but in flyweight terms he would still be a big name opponent, so it’s not something that can be ruled out.
Moreno also has some other suggestions if that’s not an option.
“The fight between [Alexandre] Pantoja and [Brandon] Royval can be a possibility. Obviously, Askar Askarov. But he had an injury in his right hand. So he will be out five or six months. Right now, I’m thinking about going back to the gym. I’ll be prepared for October or November. I think November is better. I don’t care the name. I just want to fight in that month.”
Those fights might not be the same kind of draw however, so despite his initial reluctance, there is still a solid chance that the UFC could look to capitalize on his on-going rivalry with Figueiredo by booking a trilogy fight.
Whatever happens next, Moreno is just eager to ensure that being a UFC champion doesn’t go to his head.
“We can see in the history a lot of guys who get the gold and start to change a little bit and start to be assholes,” Moreno said. “I don’t want to be that guy. I was born in a very humble family that taught me a lot of good stuff in my life. I’m trying to have some fun with the people, too. I love to be champion right now. But I can give you the belt right now.”