UFC Interim Flyweight Champion Brandon Moreno is embracing the pressure of fighting in Deiveson Figueiredo’s home country.
Moreno and Figueiredo will square off for an unprecedented fourth time at UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro. The fight puts two of the top flyweights in UFC history against one another in a 125lb rubber match.
Moreno and Figueiredo first faced off in the UFC Apex at UFC 256, with the fight resulting in a majority draw. The two squared off twice more in the United States at UFC 263 and UFC 270.
For the first time in their rivalry, the Moreno/Figueiredo matchup will take place overseas. Not only that, but also in Figueiredo’s home country, which will undoubtedly be hostile towards Moreno on fight night.
Despite the high stakes and what will likely be a high-intensity environment, Moreno sees similarities with one of the all-time great sports movies.
Brandon Moreno On UFC 283: “For Me, This Is Rocky IV”
During a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, Moreno explained the significance of his upcoming fourth clash with Figueiredo.
“For me, this is Rocky IV,” Moreno said. “This is legacy, this is a movie. The movie is writing itself. Of course there’s a lot of pressure, going to Brazil, going to his home, and maybe the people might be against me or not. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. I can see this scenario where… the passing of time and the passing of rounds, I feel like I can win the hearts of the Brazilian people here in Brazil.”
Over their past two fights, Moreno has been widely regarded as the crowd favorite, with Figueiredo being the adversarial presence. But this time around, the roles will be switched.
Moreno earned the fourth fight with Figueiredo by defeating Kai Kara-France at UFC 277 last year. He earned the interim title and the tetralogy with Figueiredo was booked months later.
In Rocky IV, Rocky Balboa faces off with Ivan Drago in the Soviet Union, entering the arena to a hostile crowd. He knocked out Drago in the final round of the fight.
A similar scenario could play out for Moreno at UFC 283, although it’s conceivable that this fourth fight with Figueiredo will be the toughest test of his career.
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