Why was Brandon Moreno cut from the UFC?

Brandon Moreno on TUF [Left] Moreno as champ [Right]
Brandon Moreno on TUF [Left] Moreno as champ [Right]

Brandon Moreno was unceremoniously cut from the UFC in 2018 after losing back-to-back fights against Sergio Pettis and Alexandre Pantoja consecutively. The worst part of the whole deal was that the No.1-ranked flyweight contender and former UFC flyweight champion was still part of the top 10 flyweights in the UFC.

Moreno, however, rejoined the UFC the following year in 2019 and faced Askar Askarov at UFC Fight Night 159, where both fighters fought to a draw. 'The Assassin Baby' has a promotional record of 9-3-2 and an overall MMA record of 20-6-2.

The Mexican fighter will face Brazilian champion, Deiveson Figueiredo, for a fourth time in a title-unification bout at UFC 282 in January.

Moreno has had a storied career in the premier MMA promotion, making his first appearance in TUF: Tournament of Champions. He was the last-picked seed of the season and was part of Team Benavidez. Moreno lost his opening bout against Alexandre Pantoja via submission.

'The Assassin Baby' made his promotional debut against Louis Smolka at UFC Fight Night 96, where he won via guillotine choke in the first round. He went on to win two more bouts before his losses to Pettis and Pantoja.


Despite having a record of 3-2 at the time, Brandon Moreno was handed his papers. At the UFC 270 pre-fight press conference, Moreno was not shy about letting Dana White know that he was sad about being cut when The Schmo asked White about Moreno's premature departure from the UFC:

Skip to 1:13 for The Schmo's question for Dana White:


Before White could answer, Moreno, who was the champion at the time, interjected with the following:

"We need to talk about that. I'm so sad."

Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno at UFC 283: The epic quadrilogy

After rejoining the UFC and fighting Askarov to a draw, Brandon Moreno compiled three wins, including a knockout win over Brandon Royval. The win earned him a title shot against Deiveson Figueiredo, whom 'The Assassin Baby' fought thrice with a 1-1-1 record.

The first bout at UFC 256 was an intense back-and-forth battle, with the fight being called a draw and Figueiredo retaining his title. The fight was Brandon Moreno's second draw of his career.

The first fight warranted a rematch, and Moreno ended up winning the flyweight title after submitting Figueiredo in the third round at UFC 263. Since Figueiredo had a dominant run as champion, with two successful title defences and one retention, he was given an immediate rematch.


In their trilogy bout at UFC 270, Figueiredo won a unanimous decision victory to regain the flyweight title.

Brandon Moreno, on the other hand, fought Kai Kara-France in a rematch at UFC 277 for the interim flyweight title, where he finished the Kiwi with a kick to the body in the third round. The win granted 'The Assassin Baby' another shot at the flyweight champ, where they will showdown in an epic quadrilogy at UFC 283.

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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