Mexican Brandon Moreno will wage a “war” against New Zealander Kai Kara France this Sunday at the UFC277 event in which the interim flyweight championship will be at stake in Dallas, United States.
‘The Assassin Baby’ has it clear: “Winning the belt I’m going to feel like the undisputed champion” since “Figueiredo didn’t want to fight”. The Mexican valued before the microphone of the EFE Agency his next confrontation and the current situation of the division.
Moreno, the first UFC champion born and raised in Mexico, will look to Kai Kara France for the chance to bring a title back to the country. After migrating to Kansas to modify his camp and focus on weight gain, he faces the appointment “100% sure” of scoring another victory.
With the shadow of the Brazilian champion Deiveson Figueiredo flying over the American Airlines Center, Moreno will seek to strike a blow on the table after the rematch did not materialize.
Opposite he will find a Kai Kara France who comes with three wins in a row under his arm and positioned as the third best flyweight in the UFC.
Ask. How is he and how is the preparation going?
Response. I feel great, basically the preparation is about to end. I’m already looking forward to the fight, in fact I was talking to my coach that I’m ready, it’s just a matter of waiting and making weight, but we’re doing very well.
Q. As for the weight, how about it? We have already seen that you have gained more muscle mass.
A. And I did. It cost me a lot of work because my body type is one of those that struggle a lot to gain muscle mass since I have a very fast metabolism and gaining weight costs me a lot of work.
This time, after my last fight, I dedicated myself 100% to trying to increase my muscle mass. Obviously, apart from lifting a lot of weight, I was on a stricter diet trying to eat more. I made it, usually I walked at about 145 or 146 pounds, which I think is about 65 in kilos if I’m not mistaken, but I managed to gain up to 155 pounds, which is 70 or 71 kilos.
I made it but now the problem is lowering it, I have agreed with the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada, and they have been taking my food, my diet and I have been losing it very well. I haven’t had any serious problems.
Q. After so many years at the Entram Gym, how did that change come from going to train in Kansas?
R. I have always been one of those who are in search of continuous knowledge and I think that one of the keys to success in my past was that I traveled a lot for training. I met many gyms, trainers, people who taught me many things and that nourished me a lot.
There was a season in which I stopped doing it because I felt that it was no longer necessary, you could say, I felt that I was doing things very well, that I was winning the matches and that I was looking very good in each one of them. So I said: ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’
Obviously, my last fight I lose and immediately it was the fact of looking for something new, learning again and trying to go back to basics, learn again and start from scratch. It is a metaphor, because there is a lot of experience behind it, but it is the fact of seeking new knowledge,
At first it was difficult, because the fact of going into the unknown always causes uncertainty and a certain fear. Different training method, different system… At first I was a little doubtful but I promise you and I am 100% sure that I will win next July 30th.
P. Has leaving the comfort zone benefited you?
A. 100%. People do not realize that the comfort zone arrives and you do not even realize it. Sometimes you think that you are uncomfortable, that you are training in such a way, but you are doing things repetitively and trying to improve, to learn new things but:
How are you going to achieve it if you are not getting out of that routine and that system that you already know?
I have never been afraid to make decisions and that is what I have based my camp on, taking risks, doing the things I had to do to try to improve and take victory this coming July 30. Honestly I repeat, I feel like I made it, and I repeat, I have never been afraid to make the decisions that I feel in my heart that will lead me to victory.
P. As for your next rival, he comes from making noise with resounding victories against Askarov and Garbrandt: How do you see Kai Kara France?
R. It comes at its best. I already faced him in 2019 and I beat him. He gave me a difficult first assault, he beats me and then I hit the accelerator and beat him in the second and third. I feel very confident in beating him, I know that the guy is on a roll and he comes from beating Gardbrant and, I think the most important thing, beating Askarov. But I think that technically I’m better, I have the same or much better confidence than him, and I don’t even say anything about my heart. I am willing to go to war to win.
Q. Kai Kara France has shown in his last fights to have raised the level notably but it seems that lately he has been branded as the underdog.
A. I don’t think all the way through. Obviously the guy loses with me, then he wins a fight, then he loses again, and maybe then he gets into a little streak in which the fans started to underestimate him a little bit. I personally don’t know why he was the underdog against Cody Garbrandt if he was coming off 4 or 5 losses in a row and I saw that fight as very, very winnable for Kara France.
The one that I give full credit to was Askarov’s. He was also on a roll, he had been taking fights, undefeated, he tied with me in 2019 too, but from there it was victory after victory. Kai Kara France was very experienced, very measured taking the victory. But I don’t give him that path of ‘underdog’ that, for example, I feel that I have taken during, at least, the second part of my career in the UFC.
P. Tell me how the whole process of fighting for the interim championship has been. Everything pointed to an immediate rematch with Figueiredo, then he assured that he was injured.
A. There is nothing complicated here, in fact it is very simple. Figueiredo did not want to fight, the UFC did not want to wait for him and decided to make an interim championship while Figueiredo settled his affairs. The guy wanted to put drama in this, the truth is that there isn’t, the UFC doesn’t mess around with games.
It’s okay if he’s injured and any excuse you want to make not to fight, we understand, but the company and the division have to move on and that’s why we’re doing this championship. Winning the belt I am going to feel like the undisputed champion because I think I am the only one here who has been willing to go for the fights.
Q. Figueiredo has been very critical of the dispute over the interim championship, even defining it as a “plastic belt”: What is your opinion of these types of comments?
A. You want to stay relevant and keep making excuses. I am now very focused on Kair Kara France and I am no longer interested in this guy or even talking about him. When I beat Kai Kara France, I’m going to dedicate myself 100% to looking for that fight against him.
P. What sensations come to you from Mexico, do you want to wear a belt again?
R. To Mexico? Of course, sure. In fact, the UFC was seriously planning to look for the last fight in Mexico City, but COVID and government obstacles made it difficult. The UFC knows that my country is a big square, so let’s hope that this year or next we can see a show again in Mexico City.
Q. What was it like getting there for the first time with the belt under your arm?
R. Obviously there was a lot of responsibility. I lifted a lot and made too much noise when winning the belt, but I understand the responsibility that comes with being the champion of a company as big as the UFC. Especially if you are the first born and raised in Mexico, but I have more and more experience in this, I feel that I can better handle the media, the press and the excessive attention. My goals are set. I want to return with the belt and I am doing everything to make it possible.
Q. What is the situation of mixed martial arts in Mexico?
A. They have come a long way, I think I managed to get the media, which didn’t pay much attention to the sport of mixed martial arts in general, to turn to see the sport and turn to see me and the UFC.
That is very important, maybe not now, but in the future, with the coming of the new generations, they will open many more doors and it will depend on them to take advantage of those doors and move forward.
P. As for the level of the Spaniards, what do you think? Especially Daniel Bárez’s training partner of his who is in the orbit of the UFC.
R. He (Daniel Bárez) is already well and ready to go to the big leagues. He came close in the Dana White Contender Series, it was a very close decision where either could have won but the UFC gives the decision to the other. Dani is ready, obviously let’s hope they give him one more chance in the future.
Joél Álvarez is a great fighter, it is true that he has just lost, but his skills are incredible. Illia Topuria not to mention, I think he’s up for big things. Juan Espino who is also very good… Maybe they still don’t have many Spanish representatives, but I think that little by little the UFC is going to realize that Spain is a big place for the company.
I have my podcast in Spanish and most of my audience is from Spain, many people listen to us, Spanish fans are very passionate and I think that in a couple of years the UFC will pay more attention in the country.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.