At UFC 277 this past Saturday, Moreno scored a third-round KO victory over Kai Kara-France to claim the interim flyweight title. After the win, Figueiredo was brought into the cage so the two flyweight champions could face off once again — and while many expected fireworks, instead something much more wholesome occurred. Moreno used their face-to-face as a chance to clear the air, apologizing for anything he said that upset Figueiredo, which in turn led Figueiredo to do the same. It was entirely unexpected for everyone watching, and according to Moreno, it was all a spur of the moment decision by him.
“I was f****** ready to throw all my hate, all my fury there. But f***, man, I don’t know,” Moreno told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “Something came to my mind. What I said in the interview was real. My parents went to my house to take care of my daughters, and my oldest daughter, she’s eight years old. She understands everything. If she doesn’t understand, she will in the future. So I had the option for the future, for the world, for the show, for the money, for whatever, to make some big drama there and do something stupid with Deiveson in the octagon and make everybody crazy, or I had the opportunity to take the long way and be respectful and say, ‘I forgive you for all the s*** you’re saying to me and please forgive me if I did something bad against you, and you feel bad.’ And I did it.
“I know maybe for the fans it was not the best option, but as a man, as a family guy, I took the long way.”
Moreno and Figueiredo have a long history together.
The two flyweight champions have already faced each other three times, going 1-1-1 in their rivalry. As it has progressed, things have become more contentious. And while the two may have buried the hatchet on Saturday, Figueiredo made comments afterwards on Instagram that “he can’t be friends” with Moreno “because he’s done something that’s unforgettable,” and suggested that after they fight again, perhaps then they can be friends.
Moreno is at peace with that, saying if Figueiredo wants to be that way, that’s fine, but he doesn’t need to dislike Figueiredo to fight him.
“I decide for me and my life. It’s crazy because I understand my job, I understand what kind of a sport I’m doing, but I decided to put the angry, the bad feelings out of my life,” Moreno said. “Just watch this last fight this weekend against Kai Kara-France. I don’t want to say he’s my friend, but we were very professional together. We put a lot of respect in the press conference, in the interviews, and we had an amazing fight. So by myself, I decided to put all the angry, all the hate out of me. If he wants to keep going with those feelings, I don’t care, because at the end, angry or not, I want to put on a show for the next fight. I want to get my title back.”
Moreno will now get his chance to reclaim the undisputed title — it’s simply a matter of when and where.
Figueiredo is still recovering from a lingering finger injury but has said he’ll be ready to return at the end of the year and wants to defend his title in Brazil for the first time. And Moreno is happy to oblige.
“Deiveson’s saying he will be ready to fight in December. … I’m ready, let’s go,” Moreno said. “I love the schedule. Right now it’s just my eye, just my foot, but I’m perfect. I’m healthy in general. I just don’t want to wait another f****** six months until my next fight. I want to fight before the end of the year. If you want to go to Brazil, we can fight in Brazil, we can fight in Russia, wherever. I don’t care, I just want to fight before the end of the year.”
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