Reigning UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and current interim 125-pound titleholder Brandon Moreno will collide for a fourth (and hopefully final) time as part of the upcoming UFC 283 pay-per-view (PPV) event, recently made official for Sat., Jan. 21, 2023 inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Figueiredo admits that facing Moreno for the fourth straight time is just as annoying for him as it is for MMA fans. Perhaps the only way to finally rid himself of “The Assassin Baby” is to deliver a thunderous knockout, a conclusive finish that will also clear the lane for No. 2-ranked flyweight contender Alexandre Pantoja.
“Even though I notice the UFC wants to make Brandon Moreno flyweight champion, I won’t give them that satisfaction,” Figueiredo told MMA Fighting. “I’m here to defend what’s mine and show it to them in this fight. I think I have to go there and knock him out. Only by knocking him out I’ll show [UFC] I’m the true rightful owner of the belt. And maybe then they will stop putting [Moreno] in Pantoja’s spot.”
Figueiredo (21-2-1) and Moreno (20-6-2) battled to a draw on the UFC 256 PPV card in late 2020, then ran it back at UFC 263 the following June. That’s where Moreno captured a submission win over “Daico” — only to come up on the losing end of a unanimous decision in their UFC 270 trilogy earlier this year.
“The Assassin Baby” was later awarded the interim title by stopping Kai Kara France at UFC 277, a bout that was hastily assembled when Figueiredo took leave due to injury. Despite rumors of a trip to bantamweight, it sounds like the Brazilian is ready to close the book on his Moreno rivalry once and for all.
Whether or not it cost the promotion $1 million remains to be seen.