In the co-main event of UFC 290, Alexandre Pantoza faced Brandon Moreno for the flyweight title. The two fighters had faced each other twice before, with Alexandre Pantoza winning both to take the lead in this bout. It definitely helped when he defeated Moreno for the third time and captured the Flyweight Championship.
Alexandre Pantoza by split decision!!
— UFC (@ufc) 9 July 2023
The fight was an instant classic, with both fighters putting on a show for the fans in attendance. Alexandre Pantoja was able to land several hard shots early on, but Moreno showed incredible heart and toughness and refused to give up. Both fighters traded blows, but neither had a clear advantage.
In the latter rounds, Alexandre Pantoza began to take control of the fight, using his superior grappling skills to take Moreno down and control him on the ground. Moreno displayed excellent defense, but was unable to muster any significant attacks of his own.
In the end, the judges ruled the fight in favor of Alexandre Pantoja, with the two judges giving him the nod with scores of 48–47 and 49–46. It was a hard-fought victory for Pantoja and one that cemented his status as one of the best flyweights in the world and now as the Flyweight Champion. He may be out for a while after taking extensive damage in the full battle with Moreno, but let’s take a look at what could potentially lie ahead for the new flyweight champion.
Fight fans are generally not in favor of an immediate rematch, especially since these two fought each other three times and Alexandre Pantoja was victorious in all three fights. That said, this seems like the most logical fight for their first title defense because of how evenly matched these two are and what an amazing fight these two have put on for the fans. These two deserve to headline their own PPV fight card to show who is the best flyweight fighter on planet earth.
Brandon Royval (15-6) is a rising star in the flyweight division and is riding three consecutive victories, most recently knocking out Matheus Nicolau in just over two minutes in the first round. He is a skilled fighter with excellent grappling and striking skills, and this will be a very dangerous fight for the new Flyweight Champion. We know that Alexandre Pantoja has already beaten Royval once in August 2021, but both fighters have made a lot of progress since then and as it turned out on Saturday, we should expect a very different fight between these two.
Amir Albazi (17-1) defeated a former flyweight title contender in his most recent fight at Kai Cara-France and looked spectacular in doing so. He was able to hang in there and land punches against a powerful striker in Cara-France and he was also able to use his grappling and grappling skills to control Cara-France. Albazzi is also a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, just like Alexandre Pantoja, which will make it very exciting to watch the sparring and grappling between these two. Albazzi will certainly be a very tough title defense for Pantoja and a fight that fans will be excited to see.