UFC 290 Preview: Brandon Moreno – Alexandre Pantoja 2

Jul 30, 2022; Dallas, TX, USA; Brandon Moreno celebrates defeating Kai Kara-France in a flyweight interim title bout during UFC 277 at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 290, the flyweight title is on the line and there is some history between the two men involved in the contest. Flyweight champion Brandon Moreno (21-6-2) will look to defend his title as he takes on a familiar foe in Alexandre Pantoja (25-5).

Brandon Moreno has spent the better part of the last three years in a war with Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight title. One interim title win over Kai Kara-France thrown in the middle there. In their series which concluded back in January, Moreno went 2-1-1 in four fights.

While he’s finally done with Figgy, now he faces another Brazilian who he has a ton of history against. Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Moreno first fought on The Ultimate Fighter with Pantoja submitting and eliminating Moreno. They then fought back in 2018 with Pantoja winning a decision which led to Moreno being cut by the UFC because the promotion was thinning the flyweight division.

Now, in 2023, they fight again. Pantoja has won three fights in a row including finishes over Brandon Royval and Alex Perez to earn this shot against Moreno. He’s looking to make it three in a row against the champion.

UFC 290 Prediction

Brandon Moreno is not the same fighter he was when these two fought the first two times. This is a completely different and improved fighter. However, you can also say that Pantoja is a better fighter now as well, but I think Moreno has made even greater strides.

His determination along with the polished skillset has led him to becoming the best flyweight in the world. However, there are going to be questions in his mind until he can beat the man who has bested him twice. So, will he get it done at UFC 290.

When I look at this fight, I think we could see something along the lines of Frankie Edgar – Gray Maynard 2 and 3. Like Maynard, I think the power and aggressiveness of Pantoja is going to play in the first couple of rounds. However, I don’t think Moreno is going to go away much like Edgar didn’t go away.

As the fight goes on, I see the momentum switching over to the current UFC flyweight champion. My question is will it shift enough for him to win a decision. I think the fight goes the distance with Moreno coming on really strong in the championship rounds. Ultimately, I think the champ avenges his two losses and proves he’s the best in the world.

Prediction: Brandon Moreno by Decision