Brandon Moreno would have preferred a fresh challenge for his next fight.
Moreno (21-7-2 MMA, 9-4-2 UFC) runs things back with former title challenger Brandon Royval (15-7 MMA, 5-3 UFC) in the UFC Fight Night headliner Feb. 24 in Mexico City.
Moreno beat Royval by TKO in November 2020 after a shoulder injury rendered Royval defenseless in the first round. Despite Royval coming off a title loss to flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja at UFC 296, Moreno still views this as a No. 1 contender fight.
“I know Brandon Royval is going to come very motivated,” Moreno told MMA Junkie Radio. “He has nothing to lose and everything to win. … For me, it’s just to make a statement and keep my name there for the flyweight championship in the future.”
Originally scheduled to face Amir Albazi, Moreno was looking forward to a new opponent. The former two-time flyweight champion has fought Deiveson Figueiredo four times and Pantoja three times – including their fight on Season 24 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
“If you watch my record in the last years since 2020, I’m always fighting with the same guys,” Moreno said. “I’m just kind of tired – it’s kind of boring, but it is what it is. I was excited for this fight against Amir Albazi because new body, new game plan, new everything.
“So I was excited for that, but then he had to pull out for an injury. This is how this sport works and I understand. Brandon Royval jumped for the opportunity. It’s tiring, it’s boring, but a fight is a fight, a win is a win, and I need this win to keep my name there.”