“The Assassin Baby” and Figueiredo battled to unify the 125-pound strap in the co-main event of UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And Moreno came out on top via doctor’s stoppage after the fourth round. Along with winning the four-fight rivalry (2-1-1), Moreno took “Deus de Guerra’s” gold and he improved his professional mixed martial arts record to 21-6-2.
Moreno’s head coach Sayif Saud, who trains fighters out of Fortis MMA in Dallas, Texas, was featured on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” on Monday to celebrate The Assassin Baby’s win. And during his conversation with Ariel Helwani, Saud revealed that Moreno had a rough training camp — and it didn’t just involve his knee.
“Brandon had a lot of adversity in this camp,” Saud said. “Brandon hurt his knee really badly and we kept that a secret. Nobody knew about it, and not only did he have all of those other things to deal with, but physically [as well].
“He got really sick last month. He got that flu [that was going around] and for two weeks, he was so sick. He would do rounds, hack s*** up, blow his nose, and, ‘Yes sir, yes sir,’ but he was struggling.”
Moreno Would ‘Fight With 1 Leg’ If He Had to, Saud Said
Saud touted Moreno’s toughness and heart, and he said there was nothing that would’ve kept him from stepping inside the Octagon on January 21. “It was serious,” Saud said. “It popped, but this guy would fight with one leg. There was never a time in Brandon’s mind that he wasn’t fighting. That’s the spirit of a champion.
“But we worked through it. I made him tape up his knee [every day], and thank God we made it through.
“He never showed any mental weakness or mental fatigue,” the Fortis MMA head coach continued. “The guy is just a tank, so we just powered through it all, and there was some tenuous moments. I had to keep balanced to make sure he didn’t hurt himself more. That guy will run through a wall, he’ll do whatever it takes.
“There was a lot that happened in the camp, even though it was short camp.”
Moreno’s Team Was ‘Committed Like a Family,’ Saud Said
Moreno lost his head coach James Krause weeks back after the fighter-turned-trainer fell under investigation for a betting scandal. Because of that, along with the injuries, Saud said Moreno’s manager James House suggested that Moreno pull out of the fight. But, Moreno and Saud decided to press on.
“I told him, ‘It’s the first week, calm down, take a breath,’” Saud explained. “He was just so freaked out and the truth was, and I’ve known Jason for 10 years, I had never seen him that way. He cares so much about Brandon that he didn’t want him to fight, and if Brandon doesn’t fight, Jason doesn’t get paid at all.
“The only reason I thought Brandon could fight was because I could see the mindset, and I was like, ‘This kid can overcome this. We can do this. We can really get this done. Not only are we going to do this, we’re going to do it well.’
“I believed in Brandon, I believed in everybody as a team, all of the coaches worked so hard for this. Everybody was committed like a family.”