Alexandre Pantoja continued his dominance against Brandon Moreno as he defeated him for the third time in UFC 290. This win made him the UFC Flyweight Champion in a really close fight. The final scorecards read 49-46 for Moreno, 48-47 for Pantoja, and another 48-47, ensuring a victory for Pantoja by split decision.
This victory was the third consecutive win of Pantoja against his arch-rival Moreno. The first battle between them was fought in the 24th edition of The Ultimate Fighter. The next time they took on against each other was two years later. They were featured in the prelims of the UFC Fight Night: Maia vs Usman in Santiago, Chile in 2018.
However, this one was special for the flyweight fighter as it earned him the UFC Flyweight title. So, understandably, Alexandre Pantoja got emotional while talking to UFC commentator Joe Rogan. He expressed how his mother raised him and his brothers all by herself.
This is both profoundly inspiring and profoundly sad. pic.twitter.com/OVZF8gR5WD
— Luke Thomas🏋️♀️ (@lthomasnews) July 9, 2023
He also called out his father who had abandoned him. “I leave everything I have. My mum, take care of me and my two brothers alone. You know, now Dad, are you proud of me Dad? You proud of me?“,
Fans showed him their support and also empathized with him for growing up without the presence of his father.
I relate deeply to Alexandre Pantoja,
for I too was abandoned by my father and grew up to be devilishly handsome in spite of his absence. #UFC290
— Slick Diaz (@theoctagonjones) July 9, 2023
absent fathers have a lot to answer for
— Occupatus Mens (@OccupatusMens) July 9, 2023
A fan on Twitter wrote that only those who have grown up without a parent will be able to understand Pantoja’s pain.
if you had both your parents growing up, you’ll never understand how it feels.
— Sen (@senyah2hell) July 9, 2023
As a man who has also never met his biological father- less sad more cathartic.
— Explosivo!!!!!!! (@jonlyon813) July 9, 2023
Another fan expressed how deep this sport is and people who play the fight game have more reasons than one to win.
Another reminder that most people who end up in this sport are fighting greater battles.
— Ravage (@RAVxAGE) July 9, 2023
While there was a lot of difference of opinion when it came to the judges’ decision regarding the result of his fight, many fans showed respect after he shared his story and journey.
Alexandre Pantoja’s Comments on His Father
An emotional Alexandra Pantoja described how difficult it was when he came to the US with his family and had to forgo everything he had.
It was his mother who took care of him and his brothers. While talking to Joe Rogan, the fighter exclaimed, “You proud of me dad? You proud of me?”. This just shows how emotional he was after winning a fight that was really important for his career.
Pantoja added that he respected his opponent Moreno for the way he made a comeback in the match after getting dropped by a big left hand from him.
UFC 290, overall, was a great night for the fight game with Dricus du Plessis winning against Robert Whittaker and Alexander Volkanovksi beating Yair Rodriguez in the main card.