If you spend enough time around athletes in the sport of MMA you will be amazed at the spectrum of personalities you will encounter. By nature MMA minded people are a different breed, but among coaches and athletes you can find some of the most driven, dedicated, and fierce human beings you may ever meet.

Very few represent the stark contrast between humble and lethal that you find when you witness the athlete that is Brandon Moreno. This is a young man who can light up a room with the biggest smile you may ever see and equally set that same room on fire when he competes.

His next steps towards an MMA cage will come against a man who may prove the toughest test of his career as one of the most unique flyweight fighters in the division they call home.  That fighter is Matt Betzold.

The stakes are high in this bout. Betzold was the flyweight champion before he moved out of AZ making his way to CA in search of elevating his training. In his absence many new contenders emerged and Moreno has without a doubt cemented his place as the best among them earning a title of his own.

So now Betzold returns to his home with a bit of a chip on his shoulder looking to unify a title he never lost with a title that Moreno has earned through solid competition. Moreno is coming off a lightning fast submission win over the wrecking machine known as C.J. “Sleepy” Soliven. It was a win that made a huge statement among fight fans in the desert who follow the careers of these rising fighters.

It was also a win that made fans immediately ask what if this guy were to fight Matt Betzold. Well WFFMMA match maker Thom Ortiz knows what the fans want and he puts on some of the best fights hands down. He wasted no time bringing these two lethal finishers to terms on a bout agreement to meet at The Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino on February 7th.

Now just a couple of weeks out from fight night The MMA Corner was able to earn a few moments of the  champion’s time to gauge his thoughts leading into his first title defense. It is clearly an opportunity he takes tremendous pride in.

Moreno explained, “It is a great honor representing both my gym and my country of Mexico. Although fighting is a sport where you alone enter a cage, I carry my family’s dreams, hopes, and future with me. My gym is my second family and as such I also try to represent them with dignity and honor our colors.”

Moreno went on to say, “I am very grateful to Thom Ortiz for giving me a chance to compete in his great league. He believes in me and I am very appreciative of this opportunity. I strive to be worthy of the faith everyone puts in me.”

Moreno holds other MMA titles yet as an athlete based out of Mexico this is his first in a U.S. based organization. He talked about how much that means to him and how he saw both winning that title and how he now feels leading into his first title defense.

He explained, “Having a title in the USA was a life-long dream. The moment Thom put that belt on me I broke down and cried like a little baby because although I had always visualized being a champion, reality hit me at that very moment. I just won’t let go of this moment, this belt, or give up on my dreams easily. I am a hard worker.”

That pride and confidence can carry a fighter to great heights. Those heights are achieved one training session, one fight at a time. This next fight has the makings of outstanding competition. His opponent is dangerous and comes into this bout feeling he has something to prove.

Moreno talked about his impressions of amputee Matt Betzold, and more importantly how he perceives prospective opponents in general. Moreno told The MMA Corner, “Any person who steps on a cage deserves respect. My opponent’s uniqueness makes him even more respectable as a fighter.  I personally don’t choose fights or pick opponents. If the WFF wants that fight, I will defend my title against whoever they put in front of me. I expect Matt’s best efforts as he should expect mine.”

In 2014 the WFF saw a small platoon of their champions and top athletes graduate to the UFC and Bellator. It is no mystery that finding success in some of the sport’s top regional promotions will catch the eye of match-makers looking to fill their ranks.

Brandon Moreno realizes this and talked about his aspirations beyond his current status as champion of a regional show. He explained, “Anyone in MMA today aspires to have a career in the UFC. Whoever says differently is lying. I am no different and one day I would like to be in the UFC.”

Moreno added, “My moment will come and I prepare every day to embrace it. Today I am concentrating on being a worthy champ in the WFF and I know the right people will watch if I do my job correctly. I will represent our league with honor as the many others who have preceded me.”

He also said he is driven by his endless need to better at what he loves to do most in this world, competing in martial arts. He takes great pride in his accomplishments up to this point. He has held various MMA and BJJ titles. One memory he is most fond of was the moment many years ago as a kid when he realized that martial arts was his calling in life.

He now sharpens his skills with the man he calls the best MMA coach in Mexico Raul Arvizu of Entram Gym. Arvizu prepares him to be ready for anything that can happen inside that cage.

In closing the champion wanted to share a message with his fans and all who support him. Moreno was sure to say “I just want to thank each and everyone who comes to the fights. The fans in AZ are the best in the world. They are knowledgeable, passionate, and so very welcoming. I feel somehow adopted and I actually feel at home when fighting in the WFF. I never take AZ fans for granted, they are honestly the best. GRACIAS DE CORAZON!”

Take it from someone who has sat cageside and watched this young man compete. He is a dangerous competitor who is stone cold once the cage doors close. Yet as mentioned before the contrast of who he is once the smoke clears is remarkable. He is class personified. He is all smiles and so very appreciative of the opportunity to compete and those who appear to watch him do so.

He will certainly have his hands full with his upcoming opponent and it is clear he is ready to rise to the challenges presented by Matt Betzold. Time will tell who leaves that cage a champion but one thing is clear without a doubt. These two warriors will elevate one another through their unique styles of combat and the fans in the seats will have a lot to talk about Sunday morning.

 

To learn more about this event visit wffmma.com or to attend visit buyfighttickets.com

Special thanks to Gustavo Pohls for translating for Mr. Moreno and The MMA Corner.

About The Author

Todd Jackson
Staff Writer

Todd Jackson is a lifelong combat arts fan. MMA in particular has become a passion over the years. As an analyst his write ups have been featured by such websites as ESPN, FOX Sports, and Sports Illustrated over the years. Todd has interviewed world champions and hall of fame fighters. Yet his true inspiration comes in studying the fighter of tomorrow, the rising regional athlete. Todd is also a cageside commentator for an Arizona based promotion which allows him very unique insight into the sport he loves.