Dana White feels bad about raining on Brandon Moreno’s parade.
Following Moreno’s interim flyweight championship win over Kai Kara-France in Saturday’s UFC 277 co-main event, his longtime rival Deiveson Figueiredo was invited into the octagon for an impromptu faceoff.
Figueiredo is likely to attempt to unify his undisputed title with Moreno’s interim title in a tetralogy bout in the near future, and while the post-fight exchange was mostly respectful, White wonders if he and his team should have handled the situation differently.
“You know what, it was kind of an in-the-moment thing,” White said at the evening’s post-fight press conference. “Then when he got up there I was like, ‘Well, that was f****** rude.’ This kid is having his moment, and he’s got Figueiredo standing in his face.
“But it happened, it wasn’t horrible, and we meant no disrespect to Moreno, but it came off pretty disrespectful.”
Moreno was asked for his take on the situation, and he admitted that he was fired up, but he felt it was best to put aside any animosity between he and Figueiredo for his family’s sake.
“I don’t care,” Moreno said. “You know, I promise I was ready to throw everything against him at that moment. He was in Dallas since two days ago, I saw him in the lobby in the hotel and man, I was ready to take the mic, ‘Let’s go motherf*****! Let’s go for the fourth one!’
“But everything I said was real. My other daughter, Madison, she’s eight years old, now she understands everything, or not, but she will understand. I knew I had the opportunity to be a better example for her.
“I don’t want for her dad to be doing stupid things on television. So I don’t know, I took the spot to say, ‘Man, brother, I forgive you for everything and please forgive me if I did something bad against you and that’s it. But don’t be confused, I want to fight against you.”
Tetralogies are rare in any avenue of combat sports, and no two fighters have ever faced off four times under the UFC banner, but that appears to be where Moreno and Figueiredo are headed. Their series is currently at 1-1-1, with the two fighting to a draw at UFC 256 and then splitting a pair of immediate championship rematches at UFC 263 and UFC 270. Figueiredo most recently claimed bragging rights, defeating Moreno by unanimous decision this past January.
White said it’s definitely possible that this once-in-a-lifetime rivalry could extend beyond a trilogy.
“Ten times,” White said. “It’s one of those unique, freaky deals where — who doesn’t want to see that fight again? And I’m the worst with that s***, I hate that stuff. If you’ve got a guy who’s up 2-to-1 or whatever, you don’t ever need to see that fight again ever. But this is just one of those weird ones that you can.”
During Saturday’s post-fight interaction with Moreno, Figueiredo said he would like the fourth fight to take place in Brazil. The UFC has not been to Figueiredo’s home country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. However, White is optimism that they can return to Brazil in 2023.
“We’re planning on hopefully going to Brazil next year,” he said. “Again, we’ll see what this crazy world throws at us in the next six months.”