Brandon Moreno is coming off one of the greatest title fights in UFC history, but he doesn’t think he should take 2020’s “Fight of the Year” crown.
The former UFC title challenger fought champion Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC) to a majority draw in the headlining act of UFC 256 earlier this month at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It was a thrilling back-and-forth fight that had many calling it the greatest fight in UFC men’s flyweight history.
But Moreno (18-5-2 MMA, 6-2-2 UFC) thinks the women’s flyweight title fight between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk earlier this year at UFC 248 should win “Fight of the Year.”
“‘Fight of the Year,’ I think Zhang Weili vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk should win – that’s me giving you my personal opinion,” Moreno said in Spanish on Hablemos MMA. “But if they gave us that title, that award, I would be very happy. Why not? But me, as a fan, that fight with Joanna and Weili – I got very excited and I think that should be ‘Fight of the Year.'”
It’s a tough competition, since 2020 hosted many high-profile battles that are in the conversation for the award. Moreno won’t jump to call for that title, but he will take credit for having one of the best fights in UFC men’s flyweight history.
“I think that on a drama level and standpoint, yes,” Moreno said. “We can’t discount the technique aspect when Demetrious (Johnson) was fighting. But from a damage and drama standpoint, I’d say yeah, I think it definitely is up there.”
Although nothing has been signed, UFC president Dana White said at the UFC 256 post-fight news conference that a rematch between Moreno and Figueiredo is coming in 2021.
Moreno said no other fight but a rematch makes sense for him next and finds April to be a good month to run it back with Figueiredo since he needs to recover from the bout and prepare for five rounds.
Despite not taking the belt back to Mexico, Moreno is happy he was able to entertain his fans. He knew the fight would deliver once he signed the contract to fight the Brazilian.
“I did expect a hard fight,” Moreno said. “It was very clear to me that Deiveson, with all the hype that he’s got surrounding his striking and power and all that, he liked to make this aura for his opponents that you couldn’t exchange with him and that you had to respect him at all times.
“So if you look at it from that standpoint, the strategy that I had was crazy – maybe not the smartest thing to do. But I knew that if I took him out of his comfort zone that I was going to get to him and make him uncomfortable, and that’s how it went down.
“So you do expect a hard fight, but the bell rang and Dana White was in awe, everyone was hyped, and that’s great. Although I didn’t take the belt and it ended in a majority draw, it makes me very happy that people loved the fight.”