Although Brandon Moreno believes he’s better than Deiveson Figueiredo, he’s aware that he doesn’t hold all the cards.
The Mexican star is set to take on Figueiredo (21-2-1 MMA, 10-2-1 UFC) on Saturday for a fourth time in a flyweight title-unification bout in the co-main event of UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro. After having fought him three times in the past three years, Moreno (20-6-2 MMA, 8-3-2 UFC) knows the Brazilian quite well – so much, that Moreno thinks a fourth meeting will be very similar to the past ones. To him, that means he’s the better fighter, but not the harder puncher.
“He claimed at the press conference we had in November that I had spies and all that, but he said that too late,” Moreno told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “He could’ve said that in the first or second fight, but now we know each other very well. There’s nothing to hide.
“He knows technically I’m better than him, and he knows he hits much harder. So based on that, each of us is going to make a game plan. To be sincere, I don’t think we’ll change that much.”
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The championship bout between Moreno and Figueiredo is the first quadrilogy in the history of the UFC. And to most, including Moreno, it’s the biggest rivalry the UFC’s flyweight division has ever seen.
Moreno admits he’s a bit tired of facing the same opponent, and he’s ready to turn the page after Saturday. But although he expects a similar fight at UFC 283, he does acknowledge there are a few new wrinkles.
“Even though we had a very good camp and the game plan is made, I still don’t know what to expect from Deiveson, and that’s because Deiveson has undergone several changes in the last few months,” Moreno said. “The last fight, he worked with Fight Ready and was training with Henry Cejudo, and that benefited him a lot. He learned how to manage the fight over five rounds.
“But then I hear he went back to Brazil to train with his old team. So I don’t know how much he’s going to change, how much he’s going to keep from what he did at Fight Ready. I don’t know how much he maintained the relationship with Henry and (Eric) Albarracin. …
“So on that end, I don’t know how much he’s going to change. From my part, what I can tell you is that this game plan is different. We fixed every mistake that I made in the third fight. But the essence is the same, and I know the essence from Figueiredo is going to be the same.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 283.