What Brandon Moreno's surprise announcement means for the UFC flyweight division

Brandon Moreno's UFC exit could mean big things ahead for fellow flyweights such as Amir Albazi, Matheus Nicolau, and Muhammad Mokaev.
Brandon Moreno
Brandon Moreno / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

This week Former UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno made a stunning announcement on Instagram. He revealed he'll be taking a lengthy break from MMA but stopped short of announcing a retirement.

“I think with all the technical aspects things aside, I think I’m just tired. I’m tired of the media, the same questions, the vibe, the constant pressure," Moreno said in Spanis (h/t to MMA Junkie for the translation). "I don’t even think it’s a single moment anymore. I think it’s everything I’ve piled on my shoulders in the last few years. I’ve reached a point where my mind is stressed, and I just want to rest a bit. I’m not saying I’m 100 percent stepping away from MMA, but I do want to take a break to rest, be with my family and just be a normal person, be with my daughters, and just do new things."

Brandon Moreno's UFC exit could mean big things ahead for fellow flyweights

He continued, “There are many things I haven’t done because I’m 100 percent focused on my training. I just want to rest a bit. This is by no means a goodbye. Just wait for me, have patience, let my body and my mind recover, and we’ll come back to do things well.”

The announcement came as a big surprise to fans who have seen Moreno as one of the faces of the flyweight division. He went a stunning six title fights in a row starting at UFC 256 when he and Deiveson Figueiredo fought to a draw. They came right back and fought again six months later where he became the champion after submitting Figueiredo. They fought a third time six months after that where Figueiredo regained the title via a five-round war. But that's not where the title fights stopped.

Moreno fought for the interim title versus Kai Kara-France and won via a third-round TKO, setting him up for a fourth fight versus Figueiredo to unify the title. He defeated Figueiredo via TKO getting the title back and finally ending the back-and-forth with Figueiredo. But that's where the winning stopped. Moreno dropped his next two fighters, first losing his title to Alexandre Pantoja at UFC 290, then losing to Brandon Royval in his home country.

This opens up the flyweight division in a big way. He's currently ranked No. 2 in the division and this will pave the way for the lower-ranked flyweights to get closer to the title a bit easier. Moreno will always be a scary opponent and without him holding firm to the top 3, others like Amir Albazi, Matheus Nicolau, and Muhammad Mokaev can make a run to the title at least one fight quicker.

Let's hope the break proves the right decision, Henry Cejudo did the same thing Moreno is doing and hasn't won a fight since. Only time will tell unfortunately.


Next. Every UFC knockout of 2024. Every UFC knockout of 2024. dark