Alexander Pantoja has beaten one of the fundamental fundamental arena’s most attention-grabbing flyweights over 30 educated MMA bouts, and he holds two victories over most traditional UFC king Brandon Moreno. That makes him dream higher going into UFC 290 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Pantoja became the backup fighter on two separate times within the UFC, nonetheless both title bouts went on with out hiccups. Someway a title challenger, the pride of Arraial produce Cabo, Brazil, meets Moreno a third time.
Pantoja ended the vital clash by job of submission all the device thru an exhibition on The Supreme Fighter in 2016, and two years later notched a dominant choice over Moreno.
“What adjustments now is that he’s the champion,” Pantoja said on a fresh episode of MMA Combating podcast Free Exchange. “The boldness he has of being champion skill plenty. To me, he’s a fully fairly just a few fighter. I know that, nonetheless he’s someone I’ve beat sooner than.
“I survey him within the eyes, and I know the assign I’m in a position to push. Quite quite a bit of of us affirm how vital he has evolved — and he did, absolute self assurance about it — nonetheless I’m at American Top Crew for five years now, and I understand how vital I’ve evolved as correctly.
“I know he’s a fairly just a few fighter, and that’s exactly what I request. I certainly desire to fight the precise Moreno that that you just can perchance well perhaps also reflect of, ? I’m particular he’ll give me that. He beat Deiveson Figueiredo dominantly. He knocked out Kai Kara-Francea certainly aggressive fighter that became making some noise within the division, with a smooth knockout.”
Pantoja said Moreno has earned his success and has “this kind of phenomenal tale within the UFC.” But he one way or the other needs to damage it when they clash on the T-Cell Enviornment. After that, he plans to pile on contender after contender till he’s reached legendary save.
“It’s laborious to tie Demetrious Johnson’s [record]nonetheless I’m hoping to get to pound-for-pound [best],” Pantoja said. “I certainly desire to rush head to head with these guys within the tip of the pound-for-pound [rankings]. I don’t want to be simplest the champion of my division, I want to be with out a doubt one of many arena’s most attention-grabbing martial artists.”
Pantoja doesn’t reflect the UFC could perhaps perchance well also honest still grant Moreno a straight away rematch after UFC 290 because there are fairly just a few contenders wanting forward to their opportunities. He plans to be an “though-provoking champion” and establish his belt on the line sooner than the quit of 2023.
“I respect him plenty, I respect his historic past and the household he’s raised,” Pantoja said of Moreno. “He’s a champion the UFC certainly likes. He has charisma, nonetheless the UFC is no longer about the nicest fighter, the UFC became created to showcase who’s the precise martial artist, and I’m going there to showcase it.”
“I’m particular Moreno will converse three times tougher [because he’s 0-2] and intention ready, nonetheless so hang I,” he continued. “I’m reinventing myself on daily foundation. I strive to become better and establish myself in uncomfortable instances the total time, because after Moreno, there’s the Deiveson [Figueiredos] of the arena, the Manel Kapes, the Matheus Nicolaus’, ? There are vast names on this division. This division has never been better, and I’m joyful about this. I’m hoping this fight is so vast it goes down in historic past.”
Pantoja said he never certainly understanding he would be within the UFC someday, let on my own preserve the championship belt. “Already a winner” for the entirety he has carried out interior and outside of doors the cage, Pantoja will for the vital time bring his young of us with him from Florida to Las Vegas for fight week, hoping at hand them a shimmering reward on Saturday.
“My teammates affirm I’m already the champion, and training with these guys on a day by day foundation presentations me there’s no such things as champion in come,” he said. “That you just can perchance well also honest must struggle thru the intention. I’m ready to get drained, to get better and to initiate all the device thru. There are says you rush to the gym and get beat up and is fancy, ‘Wait, preserve on.’ I certainly must work certainly laborious to be ready for Moreno.”