Tuesday, November 15, 2022

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Brandon Moreno, Yair Rodriguez want to bring UFC title bouts to Mexico

MMA is commonly an individualistic sport, however generally there may be widespread targets and goals amongst fighters. And that’s the case with Mexican stars Brandon Moreno and Yair Rodriguez.

The 2 title contenders look to additional their very own careers and change into champions within the UFC. However on high of looking for UFC gold, Moreno and Rodriguez wish to develop Mexico’s presence within the historical past of the game. That’s why they each hope to someday share the highest billing of a UFC occasion in Mexico with two championship fights.

Rodriguez, who’s coming off a win over Mind Ortega, is pegged by many as the subsequent title challenger for featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. “El Pantera” hopes to get the subsequent shot, and in a great world, have that be in his dwelling nation.

“The best situation can be to have two title fights, so Brandon Moreno to win the title (at UFC 277) after which combat for the (undisputed) championship and have each of us combat for titles in the identical evening,” Rodriguez told MMA Junkie in Spanish. “That for me can be a dream come true. Two championship fights for 2 Mexicans in a single evening. That may be a spectacle.”

Moreno, a former UFC champion who made historical past in 2021 as the primary Mexican to carry a UFC belt, returns this weekend within the co-main occasion of UFC 277 in Dallas, Texas. Moreno takes on Kai Kara-France in a rematch for the interim flyweight title.

Moreno is concentrated on the duty at hand, however likes Rodriguez’s concept and doesn’t see it as one thing not possible.

“We’d blow up Mexico, for positive,” Moreno said. “I’m down, and I’ve already seen individuals commenting about it. Think about that, it will be insane. It’s not a loopy risk, it’s not like we’re simply making up issues. It may occur. I don’t assume it may occur this 12 months, however possibly subsequent 12 months. I don’t know, dreaming is allowed, so why not? …

“That may be (the largest Mexican occasion in UFC), and we’d in all probability have sufficient to persuade the UFC and say, ‘Hey, a stadium, it’d be cool. Search for one of many newer ones in Mexico, and we’ll hit it.’”

Moreno and Rodriguez go means again. They met one another of their early 20s in 2013 earlier than they have been within the UFC. The 2 have been a part of the now defunct UFC developmental program for Latin America the place they have been each despatched to JacksonWink in Albuquerque to shine their abilities with all bills paid for.

They’ve come very far since, with Moreno being a former UFC champion and Rodriguez simply one of many high contenders and a staple at featherweight.

“I’m very pleased with Brandon Moreno,” Rodriguez mentioned. “He’s somebody whose instance I comply with not solely contained in the octagon, but in addition exterior of it for the kind of individual that he’s and the way devoted he’s.

“He’s a family-oriented individual, and I’m glad to name him my buddy. I’m tremendous pleased with him. I do know he’ll proceed to do nicely in his life and profession. I’m simply ready for a chance just like the one I discussed to you, so we will each crown ourselves as champions in a single evening and have that second be recorded with gold writing within the historical past books of not solely UFC, however the sport generally. I anxiously look ahead to that second.”

Moreno is equally pleased with Rodriguez. He believes a title shot in opposition to Volkanovski is warranted and warns individuals to not rely out his fellow countryman.

“I respect him a lot, he was the man that I might finest get together with, and we’d prepare loads collectively and push ourselves,” Moreno mentioned. “I used to be 20, and he was 21. So we met after which every went together with our personal careers.

“I believe at this level, Yair is prime for giant issues. We’ll see what occurs with Volkanovski as a result of he needs to maneuver as much as 155 kilos. I believe Yair deserves the shot. Clearly, Volkanovski is an excellent powerful fighter, however hey, the Mexican coronary heart is there. ‘El Pantera’ has proved it.”



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