Brandon Moreno has more in mind than just title defenses for his role as UFC flyweight champion.
Moreno has an ambitious mindset as to what he’d like to achieve during his time at the top of the 125-pound division. Moreno (19-5-2 MMA, 7-2-2 UFC) is out to defend his title and build a legacy in the sport, but he’d also love to help grow the sport in Latin America.
The Mexican star from Tijuana wants to bring back UFC events to his home country among many other things, including bringing back one of the UFC’s avenues responsible for many of today’s Latin American talent in the company – “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“Of course, I’d love to be coach of The Ultimate Fighter (Latin America),” Moreno told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I’d have to be very planned because in Mexico what rules are the smaller divisions. That’s just how it is.
“So a season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America’ with 135 and 145 pounders, like they did on the first one, I think there’s a lot of talent there. … We’re going to see a lot of Latin American talent at the Contender Series, but ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ is something else. I would love to be coach. It would be really cool.”
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“The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America” had three seasons, which ran from 2014 to 2016. The show was an entry point for many Hispanic fighters looking to join the UFC. Many of the names that competed in the show are still seen today in the organization. – fighters such as Yair Rodriguez, Marlon Vera, Alejandro Perez, Guido Cannetti, Claudio Puelles, and others.
Moreno competed in the American version of “The Ultimate Fighter,” having competed in Season 24 under coach Joseph Benavidez. He was originally supposed to partake in the Latin American inaugural season, but he didn’t qualify given he was underage in the U.S..
“That time, it was very frustrating because all of us that were on the development program from New Mexico, they all got in,” Moreno said. “It was ‘Moggly’ Benitez, Henry Briones, ‘Chito’ Vera, ‘Teco’ Quinonez, ‘El Diablito’ Perez, Yair Rodriguez, Guido Cannetti – all of them got in.
“I had to leave. I was just 20 years old, and I had to go back to Tijuana to grind until I got the chance to do the American one, but I know the Latin American one would’ve been something special for me.”
Moreno is currently scheduled to make his first title defense in a trilogy bout with Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 269. The two fought to a draw in an epic battle in December 2020 and then again in June at UFC 263 where Moreno submitted Figueiredo to win the title. UFC 269 is set to go down in Dec. 11. The location for the event has yet to be announced.
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