UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno to rematch Alexandre Pantoja at UFC 290

Brandon Moreno is set to rematch Alexandre Pantoja at UFC 290.

By: Lucas Rezende | 2 months ago
UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno to rematch Alexandre Pantoja at UFC 290
March 23, 2023, Mexico City, Mexico: The Mexican professional mixed martial artist and the UFC flyweight champion, Brandon Moreno The Assassin Baby , attends a news conference to announce a fight in Mexico at Hyatt Regency Hotel. on March 23, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico. Mexico City Mexico - ZUMAe321 0240398212st Copyright: xIsmaelxRosasx

One of the few men to defeat current flyweight champion Brandon Moreno in the UFC is finally getting his much desired rematch, and with the title on the line to make it even sweeter.

Per MMA Freak’s report, Moreno is now set to defend his belt against Alexandre Pantoja, at UFC 290, in July. Shortly after the original announcement, ESPN’s official Twitter account confirmed the news

Alexandre Pantoja holds two wins over Brandon Moreno

When the pair first met, in May 2018, Pantoja defeated the Mexican with a unanimous decision win at UFC Santiago, in Chile. However, that was just Alexandre’s first official win over Brandon. Since both athletes were contestants on the 24th season of The Ultimate Fighter, they had a chance to square off in the show’s round of 16, which ended with the Brazilian beating the ‘Babyface Assassin’ via submission.

The fight originally aired on August 31, 2016, but because TUF bouts only count as exhibition matches and therefore do not go on an athlete’s professional record, Pantoja’s 2018 victory remains his sole official one over Moreno.

Brandon Moreno and Pantoja were meant to rematch in 2021

Nonetheless, it is a known fact in the MMA community that because of the wins over Moreno, Pantoja has campaigned for a rematch with Brandon for years. In fact, his coach Marcos Parrumpinha even went on record saying that the pair was meant to fight in 2021, but a knee injury prevented Alexandre from accepting the match.

“It was really hard (to turn the fight down), because Pantoja has already defeated the champion twice rather easily, so we know what his potential is,” Parrumpinha told Ag Fight at the time. “We’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a while now, so it was hard. We couldn’t take the fight because Pantoja had left the operating room hours before the UFC had offered us the fight. There was no time to be ready to fight on December 11.

“He’s a tough guy,” Parrumpinha continued. “All he thinks about is getting well again so he can beat any opponent and get invited to fight for the belt again. He has no time to think about getting sad.”

Now that Pantoja (25-5) has gotten his wish granted, he will look goes into the title fight on a three-fight winning streak, with victories over Manel Kape, Brandon Royval and most recently, Alex Perez, in July 2022. The 32-year-old’s last loss took place in July 2020, when the ‘Cannibal’ dropped a unanimous decision to Askar Askarov.

UFC 290 is possibly featuring two more title fights

Meanwhile, Moreno (21-6-2) has finally put an end to his series of title fights against former champion Deiveson Figueiredo following a TKO win against the Brazilian in January 2023 to win and unify the flyweight belt. The 29-year-old already had another TKO win before that, when he bested Kai Kara-France in July 2022 at UFC 277.

Now, Brandon Moreno and Alexandre Pantoja are expected to face each other at UFC 290, which takes place on July 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card will also feature a title unification bout in the featherweight division in its main event, with champion Alexander Volkanovski going for his fifth title defense, against interim title-holder Yair Rodriguez.

Though not officially confirmed, a bout between former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic is also rumored to be taking place at the same date.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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