Brazilian finisher, Alexandre ‘The Cannibel’ Pantoja was widely expected to meet with reigning UFC flyweight champion, Brandon ‘The Assassin Baby’ Moreno in a rematch before the close of this year off the back of a highlight victory in August, however, it appears knee surgery to address a lingering injury forced his hand on the issue.
Pantoja, who had previously met with Baja California standout, Moreno twice, one of which came during TUF 24 in an exhibition matchup, was expected to challenge the champion following his impressive second round rear-naked choke win over common-foe, Brandon Royval at UFC Vegas 34.
With Moreno in attendance at the UFC Apex facility, the promotion appeared to be leaning toward a rematch between himself and Pantoja in his first attempted title knockback — however, in the weeks since, the organization have since inked a trilogy bout between Moreno and former champion, Deiveson ‘Deus da Garra’ Figueiredo.
According to a report from Guilherme Cruz from MMA Fighting, Pantoja was expected to meet with Moreno in a championship re-run, however, a lingering knee injury, which was aggravated during his win over Royval, required a surgical procedure to correct — forcing from the targeted title tilt.
With the Brazilian sidelined indefinitely due to the surgical procedure, the promotion has since landed on the aforenoted, Figueiredo — who dropped his flyweight crown to Moreno back in June at UFC 263 in a third round rear-naked choke loss.
Back in December in the main event of UFC 255, Figueiredo successfully retained the flyweight crown with a majority draw against Moreno.
The trilogy matchup between the two is set to land as part of a targeted tripleheader at UFC 269 on December 11. which currently features a bantamweight title pairing of Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena, while an undisputed lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier is currenrtly in the works for the event.