In just about a month (Jan. 21, 2023), Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo will face off for the fourth time at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It’s scheduled to be the fourth consecutive title fight between the elite Flyweights, and the previous trilogy has yet to produce a definitive better man.
In the original fight, the two went to a draw after Figueiredo lost a point due to low blows. Moreno smoked the Brazilian in the rematch, knocking him down and locking in a rear naked choke to seemingly end the rivalry. Instead, an injury to Alexandre Pantoja opened an opportunity for a trilogy fight, and Figueiredo entered with a new-and-improved game plan to earn the decision.
As such, the record currently stands at 1-1-1. Moreno has since rebounded from defeat to dispatch Kai Kara-France and pick up an interim title, further setting up this fourth (and hopefully final) showdown. A big narrative ahead of the Kara-France fight, however, was Moreno’s work with James Krause and Glory MMA in the lead up, which did seem to help contribute to his excellent performance.
Unfortunately for “The Assassin Baby,” Krause is effectively blacklisted from the UFC, and his fighters have been told not to associate with him if they want to compete. Until Krause can clear his name of current fight-fixing allegations, he’s not going to be anywhere near the side of the Octagon.
Moreno has posted in support of Krause previously, but the champion needs a coach. Clearly, his rivalry with “Daico” produces fights decided by the slimmest of margins, so a small bit of good advice or smart training practices could hugely affect the impact.
Fortunately, Moreno has found an answer in Fortis MMA head coach Sayif Saud. Saud has been helping Moreno prepare in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Moreno already has spent much time preparing at Xtreme Couture and inside the UFC Performance Institute. Moreno revealed as much on his Instagram, posting a photo with Saud and other training partners like Raul Rosas Jr. and Marcelo Rojo.
Saud has done very well to develop Fortis MMA into a hotbed for UFC fighters in recent years, establishing himself and his camp as among the best in the business. Other than Moreno, Saud has previously worked with UFC athletes like Geoff Neal, Ryan Spann, Diego Ferreira.
We’ll find out how well this new relationship functions next month.