Deiveson Figueiredo was expected to defend the flyweight title against longtime rival Brandon Moreno later this year; however, a finger injury sent “Daico” to the sidelines — prompting the promotion to create an interim title in his absence.
But Moreno suggests the (cough) “injury” was an excuse cooked up by Team Figueiredo to avoid a fourth straight fight against “The Assassin Baby” after splitting a pair of title bouts at UFC 270 and UFC 263 and battling to a majority draw at UFC 256.
“Look, from all the people I speak about this around the situation and everyone I’ve discussed this with, we’ve gotten to the conclusion that he’s not a bad person,” Moreno told MMA Junkie. “I just think he’s not that smart, let’s just say. I think he surrounds himself with people who think they’re smart, but at the end of the day, regardless of how good of a person you are, you’re the one that makes your decisions, you know what I mean?”
With Figueiredo sidelined until further notice, Moreno will move on to battle streaking flyweight contender Kai Kara-France for the interim 125-pound strap as part of the UFC 277 pay-per-view (PPV) event scheduled for this July in Dallas, Texas.
“At the end of the day, that’s what’s going to represent you and that’s how the world is going to perceive you,” Moreno continued. “If he’s listening to people around him, I think they’re self-sabotaging him bad, very bad. And that’s the problem when you get together with people who think they know it all. I’ve always said it – it’s easier when you recognize you’re dumb.”
Moreno (19-6-2) lost a decision to Kara-France at UFC 245 back in late 2019.
“I think I’m dumb,” Moreno said. “I’ll admit it and I’m not ashamed of it and I’m happier that way. But I don’t pretend to know it all and I try to learn something new every day. But there’s people that think they know it all and that’s when the mistakes come in. Again, I think he’s self-sabotaging himself, but that’s his problem.”