Ugly scenes marred the end one of the UFC’s most bitter feuds, as new flyweight champion Brandon Moreno had to be escorted out of the arena as fans threw beer and other beverages from the stands.
Moreno was well ahead on the judges’ scorecards against Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo, but the fight was halted at the end of the third round thanks to a nasty eye injury for the latter, with fans in Rio none too pleased.
”I definitely understand the people,” Moreno said afterwards.
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“But the people need to understand that I was just trying to get food for my family.
“I was trying to be very, very smart and put a lot of my game plan into this fight. I was very emotional in the last fight. I was trying to put a lot of pressure on him this time.”
Figuerido said after the fight that it would be the last time he fought in this weight class, bringing the rivalry to an end.
“Unfortunately it’s time to leave this division,” he said.
“Congratulations to Brandon but I’m moving up. It was Brandon’s night.”
Also, despite no qualms from either the referee or the commentators, he was adamant that Moreno had delivered an eye poke.
“I thought it was an eye poke – I hope I don’t have any lasting problems with my eyes. I’m tired of making this weight, that’s why I’m moving up.”
There was no controversy in the other title fight of the evening, with Jamahal Hill dominating against Glover Teixeira to take a unanimous decision win – winning every round on every scorecard.
Hill slumped to the ground, overcome with emotion, when he was announced as the winner – and new light heavyweight champ.
“From where I came from, to get to this, this is unreal,” Hill said afterwards.
“Thank you! Anything is possible. Hard work, dedication, accountability.
“Don’t let nobody tell you nothing. Too many people said I couldn’t do it. It was impossible. I needed to win in one round, I couldn’t go five. What the f— you gotta say now?”
Texeira, 43, is a legend of the sport – and announced his retirement after the loss.
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