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UFC

Brandon Moreno’s UFC triumph; who will he play next?

Arguably the greatest Mexican UFC fighter of all time, Brandon Moreno reclaims the undisputed flyweight championship Saturday.

Update:
Arguably the greatest UFC fighter of all time, Brandon Moreno reclaims the undisputed flyweight championship Saturday.
MAURO PIMENTELAFP

Brandon Moreno put his name in the conversation as the greatest flyweight in MMA history on Saturday.

The Mexican from Tijuana closed one of the great rivalries in UFC history when he defeated Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this weekend.

Midway through the third round, Moreno landed a hard punch which left the Brazilian with notable swelling and a cut near his eye. The fight ended when the ringside physician declared that Figueiredo couldn’t see out of his right eye and ruled that he should not be allowed to continue.

Brandon Moreno reclaims his title

What ‘The Assasin Baby’ also did Saturday with his victory was regain the undisputed flyweight championship. He has won the personal four-fight series with Figueiredo, 2-1-1, stopping him in both of the fights he won.

Who is Moreno fighting next?

Moreno taking over at the top of the flyweight division leaves him with a long list of contenders prepared for the opportunity to finally compete for UFC gold.

After Saturday night’s bout, Moreno ran into Alexandre Pantoja backstage; the 32-year-old Brazilian served as the backup for the title fight with hopes that he would have the chance to face the winner at some point. With a three-fight victory streak and two previous wins over Moreno — including one that was an exhibition fight on The Ultimate Fighter — Pantoja was clearly looking forward to being next.

“He came [at] me and he was very friendly with me, to be honest,” Moreno said at the UFC 283 post-fight press conference. “Then he started to ask me like ‘when is our fight? In two months? Three months? Tell me right now!’”

With Figueiredo already being vocal about his intention to move to bantamweight, it seems Pantoja finally gets his chance.

Related: Who are the current holders of each UFC title after last night’s UFC 283?

Best Mexican UFC fighter of all time

It is not easy to pick one Mexican player to call the best as Mexico has always boasted some of the best boxing talents in the world.

However, based on UFC titles won and title defenses, MMA record, and other factors like fighting ability, entertainment, and influence in the UFC, here are some of the best Mexican UFC fighters:

Cain Velasquez (14-3-0)

Cain is an American fighter who’s very fond of his Mexican heritage.

He’s also a former two-time UFC heavyweight champion and a two-time All-American wrestler, with a reputation as one of the best UFC heavyweights of all time – where he had two successful title defenses.

With his MMA debut in 2006 and UFC debut in 2008, the retired Mixed Martials artist went on a seven-fight UFC win streak, becoming the heavyweight champion after beating Brock Lesnar at UFC 121.

Brandon Moreno “Assassin Baby” (19-6-2)

Moreno became the first Mexican-born UFC champion after beating Deiveson Figueiredo in his second attempt at UFC 263. Brandon’s a former LFA flyweight champion and has a black belt in BJJ. He has become familiar as one of the UFC’s slickest submission artists with 11 out of 19 wins by submission.

Henry Cejudo ‘The Messenger’ (16-2-0)

American-born Cejudo is one of only four UFC fighters to become a double champ. The Mexican-American became both the flyweight and bantamweight champion. He won gold in wrestling at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also has a black belt in aikido.

Dominick Cruz (24-3-0)

Considered one of the greatest bantamweights, Cruz had 3 successful title defenses, was a two-time UFC bantamweight champion, and was the last WEC bantamweight champion before the promotion became extinct.

He is also arguably the most technically gifted fighter of all time, holding wins over Joseph Benevidez (2), Urijah Faber (2), TJ Dillashaw, and Demetrious Johnson, while only losing twice in the UFC, once to Henry Cejudo and once to Cody Garbrandt.

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