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Ex-UFC Champ Brandon Moreno Announces He’s Taking Time Off from MMA

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While he isn’t retiring, Brandon
Moreno needs some time away from mixed martial arts.

The former
UFC flyweight champion announced via social media on Monday
that he is taking a break to “rest” from the stresses of the sport.
Moreno, a two-time title holder, is coming off a split-decision
defeat to Brandon
Royval in the
UFC Fight Night 237 headliner on Feb. 24.

“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,” Moreno said in Spanish on Instagram (translation
via MMAjunkie.com). “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% 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% 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.”

Moreno became the first Mexican-born champion in promotion history
when he submitted Deiveson
Figueiredo in the third round of their rematch at UFC 263. “The
Assassin Baby” would relinquish the belt to his Brazilian rival in
a trilogy bout at UFC 270 before regaining the title in their
fourth meeting at UFC 283. The 30-year-old Mexican lost the strap
again at UFC 290, where he fell to Alexandre via split decision
this past July.

Moreno admitted that the second two-bout skid of his professional
career has taken its toll on him mentally, especially falling to
Royval in front of his fans in Mexico City.

“So yeah, what can I say? Even a month after the fight, I’m still
digesting it a bit,” Moreno said. “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.”

While it’s unclear when Moreno might be ready to return to action,
he claims that he is still focused on becoming UFC champion again.
He just needs some time to recharge.

“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 said.

“… 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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