There’s already some history between Alexandre
Pantoja and reigining flyweight champion Brandon
Moreno — with most of that tilted in favor of the Brazilian
First, Pantoja submitted Moreno in an exhibition bout on Season 24
of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and then “The Cannibal” outpointed the
Mexican star at UFC Fight Night 129 in May 2018. Perhaps that’s why
Pantoja delivered the most polite callout ever — with Moreno in
attendance — in his post-fight interview following a victory over
Royval at UFC on ESPN 29 on Saturday night.
While both flyweights seem to have a certain level of respect for
each other, Pantoja was a little less diplomatic in a scrum
conducted after the bout.
“He knows my game. I beat him two times. I think he’s maybe a
little scared because he lost to me via submission, and then when
he had the possibility to get revenge against me, I destroyed him.
I made it 30-26. I proved I’m better,” Pantoja said.
“When he came to the UFC, you see he’s good – but I’m better. He
has the title, but he knows I’m much better when we fought three
Moreno was briefly released from the UFC in 2019 but returned to
post a six-bout unbeaten streak that included draws against
Deiveson Figueiredo and Askar
Askarov. His most impressive performance, however, came in a
rematch with Figueiredo, when he claimed the 125-pound belt with a
third-round submission at UFC 263.
Pantoja mentioned December as a possible date for the bout, but
it’s currently unclear when Moreno might want to return. There’s
also the possibility that Askarov, who defeat Pantoja at UFC Fight
Night 172, gets the next shot. Pantoja believes his previous
success against the champ is enough to give him the edge.
“I’m the next for the title – he knows that,” Pantoja said of
Moreno. “Maybe he retires. I don’t know what’s in his mind. But he
knows me and he knows my power with my hands and my grappling. I
think I’m the most dangerous guy in that division.”