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PHOENIX – The new UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno is proud to elevate the status of MMA in Mexico.

Moreno (19-5-2 MMA, 7-2-2 UFC) tapped out Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 263 on Saturday evening in a rematch of their first battle that resulted in a draw.

“I can’t believe it,” Moreno told reporters, including MMA Junkie, during the post-fight news conference. “This moment is so special. I’m always trying to make jokes and play with everybody but today was an emotional day for me, you know? I started to cry because I feel it in the bottom of my heart.”

It was a long road to the pinnacle of the sport for the Tijuana, Mexico native, but his dedication to the sport and making the necessary changes to succeed culminated in his crowning achievement on Saturday evening.

“I worked so hard for that f*cking belt,” Moreno said. “I have 10 years as a professional, 15 years doing this sport, and this moment is so special – and not just for me, all the people around me who support me on this journey.”

After an extensive training camp that lasted six months, Moreno is happy that the hard work paid off, regardless of the toll it may have taken on his body in the long run.

“This training camp took three years off my life, but I don’t care,” Moreno said. “I have the belt right now and that is the most important thing. I don’t have enough words to explain how I feel today.”

Moreno’s name will be forever attached to history as the first Mexico-born champion, something he is extremely proud of accomplishing.

“That was one of my principal goals,” Moreno stated. “Obviously, I have so much respect for Cain Velasquez and Henry Cejudo. They put so much work in for my country, too. Cain Velasquez brought the UFC to Mexico in 2014. That was amazing. That put the mixed martial arts in Mexico on another level, but I (was) born in Tijuana. I grew up there, I went to school there. I suffered the bad opportunities, the f*cking government there, you know?”

The UFC has recently focused on developing talent in Latin America, and now that Mexico has an undisputed champion, Moreno’s win should elevate the focus on MMA.

“Huge companies don’t put support in the sports, especially mixed martial arts because it’s a new sport for the country,” Moreno explained.

“I know with this belt, I put the sport on another level and that makes me feel amazing.”


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