If and when an expected fourth matchup between current UFC flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo and new interim titleholder Brandon Moreno does materialize, Jason House believes there will be much more on the line than a simple title unification.
With the two fighters currently deadlocked at 1-1-1 through their first three meetings, the Iridium Sports Agency boss said he's excited to see Moreno add to his increasingly impressive legacy by closing out the series, which would mark the first time in UFC history two athletes have faced off in the octagon four different times.
"That fourth fight is a huge fight," House told MMA Underground. "It's a huge opportunity, both monetarily and for our legacy. For me, most importantly, was the legacy. To be able to do a quadrilogy, to do the fourth one, to have this opportunity to put this all to bed, that's what I wanted."
Moreno and Figuereido first met in December 2020, with the Brazilian holding the title at the time and settling for a draw in one of the year's best fights. In a June 2021 rematch, Moreno claimed the title with an impressive third-round submission of "Deus da Guerra," however Figueiredo earned it back earlier this year with a hotly contested decision win at UFC 270 in January, leveling the career series.
After UFC officials expressed interest in booking the historic fourth meeting between the two top flyweights, Moreno (20-6-2 MMA, 8-3-2 UFC) could have waited for Figuereido (21-2-1 MMA, 10-2-1 UFC), who is currently on the mend with a few nagging injuries. Instead, he elected to stay busy and take an interim title fight with dangerous Kiwi Kai Kara-France (24-10 MMA, 7-3 UFC) at this past weekend's UFC 277 event.
While a loss would have certainly delayed any potential for that fourth meeting with Figueiredo, House said Moreno never once considered sitting out, despite what he risked by taking the interim bout.
"Brandon's always wanted to stay active," House said. "I think we were offered the fourth fight, and we discussed doing it in May, and we discussed it in June, and we discussed it in July, and it was getting to a point where we realized it wasn't going to happen anytime soon, and Brandon is someone that has always told me that, 'If I'm the best, I have to go out and fight everybody,' and he's never shied away from that. There were some different options being discussed, and he said yes to all of them. He was ready to go."
Fortunately for Moreno, he was able to claim the interim belt with a third-round TKO over Kara-France, with a devastating liver kick leading to the stoppage and setting up another meeting with Figueiredo. House said Moreno is currently hoping to book the fight for December, though with the UFC discussing a potential January event in Brazil, the promotion might look to book it there, instead.
Either way, House believes it's a massive fight for Moreno, made even bigger by his UFC 277 win, and he's looking forward to putting an end to this chapter of his client's career.
"The fear in this was that if that fight didn't happen, right, that we would lose that opportunity to kind of solve this, to put an end to this once and for all, and now that we won, I think it's only hyped up the fight even more," House said. "Now the opportunity is there for us to really do it once and for all."
Check out the full interview in the video above.
This story first published at SI.com/MMA.