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Brandon Moreno announces break from MMA: ‘I’ve reached a limit in my mind’

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Brandon Moreno is taking some time away to reset.

The two-time former UFC flyweight champion announced Monday that he is taking a break from MMA following his split decision loss to Brandon Royval at UFC Mexico City in February. In an eight-minute message on Instagram, Moreno, 30, emphasized that he is not retiring, but simply needs some time off after suffering his first two-fight losing streak since 2018.

“I just think I’ve reached a limit in my mind, and I’m tired,” Moreno said in Spanish (translation courtesy of MMA Junkie’s Danny Segura).

“It’s not goodbye or anything like that, it’s just wait for me, be patient with me, let my body, but more than anything my mind, my head, compose itself and recover — recover and we’re going to get back to doing things right. The last time that happened, I came back, and I became a world champion. I’d like to think I can do the same, and when I return, I’m going to go on a tear. I still think I’m an incredible fighter, and I have all the qualities and abilities to be a champion again.”

Moreno (21-8-2) has been a central player in the UFC flyweight title scene since re-signing with the UFC for his second stint in the promotion in 2019. Moreno captured the belt twice with victories over Deiveson Figueiredo over the course of a four-fight series with the Brazilian from 2020-23, but then dropped the title this past July with a split decision loss to Alexandre Pantoja. Moreno was expected to be a top contender to face Pantoja again, but ultimately lost that opportunity with another split decision setback against Royval.

MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin confirmed with Moreno’s management that the Mexican fighter’s Monday announcement signaled only a break from MMA and nothing more.

Moreno’s entire message in Spanish can be read and watched below. (Translation courtesy of Segura and MMA Fighting’s José Youngs.)

“What can I say? Even a month after the fight, I’m still digesting it a bit. I’m thankful for the beautiful moment because that walk to the octagon in Arena CDMX was super cool. It was something special and very beautiful because the last time I was there was in 2019, and people already knew who I was, and I was getting cheered, but you can’t compare it to this time. Everyone was supporting me and singing my song, and it was beautiful.

“At the same time, it also frustrates me a bit because I tried so hard to win. The camp was very good. I managed to stay away from injuries, and I was able to work very well. I put all my heart to get the win, and it didn’t happen. I now have two consecutive losses, but they’re two weird losses. Those are losses where you can make an argument that I won. Obviously, at the end of the day, a loss is a loss. Even though one guy left to the hospital and the other had to be taken out on a wheelchair out of the arena, I still didn’t get the win. So based on that, there’s work to do.

“I feel like I’m at a point in my life where I’m putting in the work, I’m dedicated, but the results just aren’t there, and it’s very frustrating. This is something that makes me very sad, but something that makes me who I am is that I always find a way to come back.

“I think with all the technical aspect things aside, I think I’m just tired. I’m tired of the media, the same questions, the vibe, the constant pressure. I don’t even think it’s a single moment anymore. I think it’s everything I’ve piled on my shoulders in the last few years. I’ve reached a point where my mind is stressed, and I just want to rest a bit. I’m not saying I’m 100 percent stepping away from MMA, but I do want to take a break to rest, be with my family and just be a normal person, be with my daughters, and just do new things.

“There are many things I haven’t done because I’m 100 percent focused on my training. I just want to rest a bit. This is by no means a goodbye. Just wait for me, have patience, let my body and my mind recover, and we’ll come back to do things well.

“It’s not goodbye or anything like that, it’s just wait for me, be patient with me, let my body, but more than anything my mind, my head, compose itself and recover, recover and we’re going to get back to doing things right. The last time that happened, I came back, and I became a world champion. I’d like to think I can do the same and when I return, I’m going to go on a tear. I still think I’m an incredible fighter, and I have all the qualities and abilities to be a champion again.

“I just think I’ve reached a limit in my mind, and I’m tired. But outside of that, everything is excellent. I’m happy. I leave with the event on Feb. 24 with all the Mexicans that did get wins: ‘El Loco’ Torres, Daniel Zellhuber, Edgar Chairez, Yazmin [Jauregui], Jesus Aguilar, all of them had the flag up high, and we have to keep supporting them. I know that more Mexican talent is coming, and we’ll see them in big UFC events. So I leave with that and the support. Everyone that supports me is fully on board, and there’s no way I can ever repay that. At this point, all I promise is that I’ll continue fighting, moving forward, and I will find the right path to move forward. I’m going to do everything to pick myself up again. I want to do it, I know I can do it, and I’m going to do it. I’m going to be champion. I just need to rest my body and mind.”

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