Why Henry Cejudo is helping Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno

    Henry Cejudo went from Brandon Moreno’s mentor to cornering against him at UFC 270.

    UFC flyweight champion Moreno (19-5-2 MMA, 7-2-2 UFC) was a cast member on Season 24 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which Cejudo coached alongside Joseph Benavidez. Heading into the competition, Moreno was already good friends with Cejudo, but things took an awkward turn when Cejudo didn’t pick Moreno on his team.

    That’s because the format of that season of TUF had all 16 flyweights already seeded and with Cejudo unaware of Moreno’s ranking, his protege ended up on Benavidez’s team. Cejudo opted to use his first pick to select Alexandre Pantoja, who was seeded No. 1. That meant that the No. 16 seed automatically went to Benavidez’s team, which happened to be none other than Moreno, which left Cejudo stunned.

    Pantoja ended up submitting Moreno to eliminate him from the tournament, a fight that Cejudo refused to coach Pantoja in. Although things seemed cordial at the time, Cejudo says it was a turning point in his relationship with Moreno.

    “On January 19th 2019, I was able to win the greatest fight in UFC history. Why? Because the 57 jobs aka the flyweight divisions head was on the chopping block and it was up to me to win and save it! And that I did! I knocked the dude out who was on EPO’s and save a entire division from complete extinction. That being said there is nothing like a good rivalry with former training partners and friends who are now rivals. On April 23rd 2016 Brandon Moreno helped me train for Demetrious Johnson which I was ko’d in the first round. On Dec 3rd 2016 he joined Joseph Benavidez training camp to help beat me. I ended up losing that fight in what many people called robbery. My next step was to fight Brandon Moreno because I had a sour taste in my mouth but he declined to fight me. The UFC wanted us to headline in Mexico City and he decided to fight Sergio Pettis instead. I approached him in person (UFC Retreat 2017) and said “let’s fight” and he replied to me in Spanish “tengo mucho cariño para pelear contigo” which means I have too much love for you to fight you. When he told me that I immediately dropped it. Going on a two fight losing streak and coming back to becoming the Triple C is who I really am. At the end of the day you have a good story line with two country men and a middle man who knows them both. Who wins? I can tell you right now the Flyweights win! You are welcome, Sincerely The Flyweight savior Henry Ce-Judas ? ???”

    Fast forward more than five years later, and Cejudo has now taken Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) under his wing, helping him strategize against his former friend. Figueiredo will attempt to reclaim his belt when he meets Moreno in the co-main event of UFC 270 where he’ll attempt to close out their trilogy with Cejudo in his corner.

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