The UFC flyweight champion feels Pantoja is entering dangerous territory with his recent comments following his submission win over Brandon Royval at UFC on ESPN 29 earlier this month.
The Brazilian flyweight contender immediately called out Moreno (19-5-2 MMA, 7-2-2 UFC) for a championship fight during his post-fight interview. Pantoja also told reporters backstage that he feels Moreno is a “little scared” as he holds two wins over him – one in 2018 at UFC Fight Night 129 and the other in an exhibition bout during their stint in “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“I think this kid is making a big mistake saying I’m scared of him,” Moreno told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “I’ve never been afraid. I don’t know if I’m too brave or too stupid, but I’ve never been scared and much less now that I feel at the best point of my life. I’m 27 years old and I’ve never felt as good as I feel now.
“I can’t deny the truth. He beat me twice and I’m not going to be able to shake that off. That’s there, that’s on the record and on the history of my life and career. The only thing I can control is the present and keep advancing and evolving like I’ve done until now. I haven’t received an official offer, but if it’s Alexander Pantoja, he’s making a big mistake saying I’m scared of him because that’s a lie.”
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Moreno is not one to trash talk and is not necessarily bothered by Pantoja’s comments. However, the man that steps in the cage to go to war, who Moreno has described in the past as a different person, is keeping tabs.
“He’s not waking anything up in me, I’m good,” Moreno said. “I’m always focused and I’m always very happy, but he is waking up something in the other guy. And the other guy doesn’t play games. I’m cool, I’m relaxed, but the other guy is not. Don’t play with him.”
Moreno hasn’t received any offers for his first official UFC title defense. The Mexican feels Pantoja is likely going to be next and finds December to be a good return date for him.
“Yeah, (I’d like a rematch) but not in a way that I’m angry or from my ego wanting to beat him because he defeated me,” Moreno said. “Not in that manner. I would like that fight to see how much I’ve evolved and prove to myself and also to the people how far I’ve come in this sport.”
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