Saturday night was a great night for UFC fans, with UFC 290 being one of the greatest shows of the year. Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Moreno’s clash is a real candidate for fight of the year since it went back and forth from the start.
Both fighters have an incredible tale of how they rose to become two of the UFC’s top flyweight contenders. Pantoja’s difficulties were much more recent than one may imagine.
During a recent broadcast of The MMA Hour, Helwani mentioned that the reigning UFC flyweight champion was a diligent worker who also worked outside of MMA. He claimed that he used to be an Uber Eats driver and that he was still doing deliveries two years ago.
“Pantoja was driving for Uber eats two fights ago.”— AFeldmanMMA (@afeldMMA) July 10, 2023
Today, he’s a UFC world champion and coming off of a FOTY contender.
Pantoja will be on The MMA Hour around 2pm ET.@Pantojamma / @arielhelwani / #TheMMAHour pic.twitter.com/ElwphEogqP
“Pantoja was driving for Uber Eats two fights ago. Made $100 the weekend before the Royval fight, and then stopped driving when he got the $50K bonus. I mean, that’s just absurd.” stated Ariel Helwani. (h/t via- BroBible)
Fans around the world were also shocked after hearing about Pantoja’s struggle and quickly reacted to it. “How TF Is a Ranked UFC Fighter Driving Uber Eats”, said one of the fans on Twitter. “The flyweight division pay is a joke” said another fan mocking the low fight pay of the UFC.
The Canadian then said that ‘The Cannibal’ must have found it difficult to provide meals while striving to climb the UFC ranks. He talked about how encouraging it was for him to keep going and achieve his goals as he told his story.
Alexandre Pantoja left everyone emotional after calling out his father in the post-fight interview
At UFC 290, Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Moreno was the co-main event. And it was a spectacular bout in which both fighters pushed one other to their utmost. In the end, a bloodied-up Pantoja won, but not before leaving fans in tears during his post-fight interview.
Pantoja’s victory over Moreno was vital. Pantoja, as happy as he could be to have won the fight, became emotional afterward and mentioned his father in the interview.
“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?“ shouted an emotional Pantoja to the mic.
This is both profoundly inspiring and profoundly sad. pic.twitter.com/OVZF8gR5WD— Luke Thomas🏋️♀️ (@lthomasnews) July 9, 2023
The fighter became overwhelmed with emotion, and the audience was moved to witness Pantoja confront his father. However, his triumph over Moreno will be critical in for his future in the organization.