Brandon Moreno cruised fairly easy through the first two rounds of his interim flyweight title fight with Kai Kara-France on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, in the co-main event of UFC 277.
Kara-France cut Moreno below his right eye with an elbow early in the third. Moreno was down and Kara-France began landing shots from the top and took control of the fight.
But in the final minute of the round, Moreno blasted Kara-France with a kick to the liver. Kara-France folded over in agony and Moreno finished him with punches. Referee Herb Dean stopped it at 4:34 of the third.
“I practiced that kick so many times,” said Moreno, who switched camps after his last fight with Deiveson Figueiredo and was trained for this one by James Krause. “I worked on it so much.”
Moreno was in command early in the fight, using his boxing and mixing in kicks, though the first two rounds were fought at a measured pace.
By finishing Kara-France, Moreno began his second stint as a champion. He fought to a draw with Figueiredo when Figueiredo was champion in 2020, then submitted him at UFC 263 to win the belt. Figueiredo regained the belt at UFC 270 in Anaheim, California, in January, winning a hotly disputed split decision.
Figueiredo was in the audience and entered the ring after the fight. He praised Moreno’s performance but said he wanted to fight the fourth fight between them in his home of Brazil. Moreno quickly agreed.