Reports: Ex-champion stepping in as backup fighter for 296 Flyweight title fight

Brandon Moreno, “The Assassin Baby,” has been a key figure in the UFC flyweight division, with his last six fights being for either the interim or undisputed flyweight title. Although UFC 296 will be the first title fight in the division not to feature Moreno since 2020, it has been reported that he will serve as the backup fighter for the bout between Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval.

Moreno lost the title at UFC 290 when he was defeated by Pantoja via split decision. This marked Pantoja’s third victory over Moreno, solidifying his position as the top flyweight contender. Despite this, Moreno has previously held the flyweight title twice, with unsuccessful title defenses in both reigns.

While Moreno will weigh in as the backup fighter at UFC 296, he will only enter the octagon if either Pantoja or Royval are forced to withdraw or if there are issues with the latter’s weight. If he does not compete in the upcoming flyweight title bout, Moreno is set to make his return at UFC Fight Night 237 in Mexico City in February 2024.

It has been revealed that Moreno will fight Amir Albazi in a flyweight bout on February 24 in Mexico City. There have been discussions that this bout could be a five-round co-main event, where Moreno will aim to get back in the win column. If successful, this could potentially lead to another title opportunity for him. Additionally, the event is expected to be headlined by a featherweight bout between Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega.