History was made in the UFC on June 12 when Brandon Moreno became the first Mexican-born champion. The newly-crowned winner received a celebratory homecoming in Tijuana, Mexico, this week with a mariachi band, an array of traditional food, and a crowd of screaming supporters.
Moreno earned the flyweight title at UFC 263 earlier this month with a third-round submission of Brazilian fighter Deiveson Figueiredo, who tapped out after Moreno put him in a rear-naked chokehold.
Moreno’s record improved to 19-5-2 (3 KOs) in his career. He hasn’t lost a fight since 2018. The UFC dropped Moreno from their roster after back-to-back losses in 2017 and 2018 against Sergio Pettis and Alexandre Pantoja.
“This moment is so amazing,” Moreno said after the win. “This f–king life. UFC released me; I wasn’t that proud of my life, but watch me holding this belt. I feel so amazing.”
Since his comeback to the UFC, Moreno’s seven fights — including his latest victory — holds a total of five wins and two draws. One of those draws was last December against Figueiredo.
“I used all six months for this,” Moreno said. “Starting in January, starting the year, making drills, to be better today, and watch me f–king now, I’m so f–king happy! Viva Mexico!”
If you’re not familiar with Moreno yet, here are seven things you should know about the Tijuana-born mixed-martial arts fighter.
Pound for Pound
As of UFC 263, Moreno is ranked by the UFC at No. 12 as the best pound-for-pound fighter currently active in the organization. This means that Moreno is the 12th best fighter relative to his weight since fighters only go against opponents in their own weight class.
Kid at Heart
Moreno is a big fan of collectible toys and figures, including Funko Pops and LEGOs. He has a room in his home dedicated to collection and says he’d like to buy more, but at the moment, he doesn’t have any more space. After winning the UFC flyweight championship, we’re rooting for him to get the room he deserves for his collectibles.
Back in Mexico
The new champ started from humble beginnings with his family running a piñata store in Tijuana when he was a kid. Moreno thought about going to college to become a lawyer, but the world of mixed martial arts was where he ultimately found himself wanting to be.
Why is Moreno called “The Assassin Baby” with a logo that illustrates him with a pacifier? Well, at 27-years-old and just 125 lbs., Moreno is in the lightest division (flyweight) in the UFC.
Speaking of babies, Moreno is a proud girl dad. He’s a married father with three daughters – Maddie, Megan, and Morgan – born in 2014, 2018, and 2020. We can’t help but wonder if his collectibles are off-limits.
On the Air
Not only does Moreno love fighting as a mixed-martial artist, but he also loves talking about MMA. In addition to television appearances, Moreno does Spanish-language MMA podcasts in his spare time.
Even when Figueiredo made a throat-cut gesture at him during the weigh-in for UFC 263, Moreno didn’t take the bait. Instead, he smiled back and even flashed a heart sign with his hands. “What can I tell you, I was not born to be the bad boy of the face-off,” he wrote on Instagram.