Brandon Moreno was one of the last fighters on the UFC roster to compete before events were postponed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The flyweight contender competed at UFC on ESPN+ 28 last Saturday in Brazil, defeating seasoned veteran Jussier Formiga via unanimous decision.
With the impressive showing in Brasilia, Moreno (17-5-1 MMA, 5-2-1 UFC) picked up his second straight win, managed to stay undefeated in his last four outings, and positioned himself among the top contenders at flyweight.
But most importantly, Moreno was able to collect a check for his handiwork in the cage.
“To be honest with you, I’m a very responsible person when it comes to money, I don’t know how, but I am,” Moreno told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “But seriously speaking, I’ve had very good examples and I’ve had good people around me that have always worked hard and been responsible and disciplined with all that. I don’t think it would’ve affected me econimically that much if I wouldn’t have fought. I would’ve had money to sustain my family for at least four months, easy. But I’m not going deny that it was a relief to be able to fight, get my money, and be more financially stable.”
The fighters who competed at UFC Brasilia were the last competitors to get paid by the UFC. The following three events on the UFC schedule were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, leaving dozens of fighters in limbo and without a check.
UFC Brasilia remains the last event for the time being, as nearly the entire sports world is coping with the effects of COVID-19. The card went down without fans in attendance at the Ginasio Nilson Nelson, as the state government in Brasilia banned all large gatherings.
Moreno feels fortunate to have been able to compete.
“Yeah, that’s a big problem, and after my fights I did think, ‘I did run with luck because even the Brasilia event was close to canceling at some point,’” Moreno said. “But good that the government allowed the event to go on behind closed doors. But yeah, to be sincere with you, I do feel like I ran with good luck to be able to get money and be able to have resources to take on this problem.”
Although precautions were taken to avoid potential coronavirus spread at UFC Brasilia, there were still risks and concerns about continuing the event given the nature of the virus.
Moreno said he hasn’t experienced any symptoms and is doing his best to follow the recommended guidelines from experts now that he’s back home with his family in Tijuana, Mexico. He hopes things return to normal sooner rather than later.
“It’s affecting our sport in a serious level, even my work as an analyst I was supposed to commentate UFC Columbus and that got canceled,” Moreno said. “So now I’m not working that day. I just have to wait for things to get better and hope this virus doesn’t hit us hard. I’m going to stay home, going to try to go out the least possible, going to take care of myself, and just wait for all this to get better.
“You can control things up to certain point, but beyond that there is nothing to do. That’s what I have in mind and just wait for the UFC to return to normal activity.”
For now, Moreno will stay put, but he wants to fight for gold upon his return, whether it’s waiting for the potential title fight rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Jospeh Benavidez or maybe replacing either fighter in the next flyweight title fight booking.
“Look, I want to avoid Joseph as much as I can,” Moreno said. “If I fight Joe, I’d love for him to be champion or that I was the champion, either of us as title holders. Because I wouldn’t like to fight him, you know all my history with him and our close relationship. My plan is to fight Figueiredo or wait for the winner of the rematch.
“I’ve been fighting at a high pace, so it could serve as a time to rest some old injuries. I’m going to wait for that or if they say you’re fighting Figueiredo, I’ll be ready.”
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/03/brandon-moreno-glad-ufc-brasilia-wasnt-canceled-it-was-a-relief-to-be-able-to-fight/