Brandon Moreno had his dreams dashed in the first round on The Ultimate Fighter season 24, losing his preliminary bout early in the competition.
But since getting his chance in the UFC after the show concluded, “The Baby Assassin” has been one of the hottest fighters in the organization. He’s run off three wins in a row and he put an exclamation point on his contender status with a second-round submission win vs. Dustin Ortiz in Nashville last weekend.
In the official UFC rankings release, Moreno moved up three spots to No. 7 in the flyweight division. He now sits above Ortiz (No. 10), Ian McCall (No. 9) and Tim Elliott (No. 8), who won same The Ultimate Fighter season that Moreno competed on. Elliott also gave No. 1 pound-for-pound ranked Demetrious Johnson all he could handle when he received his title shot.
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Moreno has positioned himself for a potential title eliminator fight depending on how the division shakes out in the top five over the coming months.
“The flyweight division is short so I feel that I am close to a title shot after beating three of the top guys,” he said. “I think it’s going to take me one, maybe two, victories to get to the title shot. I would like to fight (No. 3-ranked) Ray Borg but he has missed weight and I don’t like that so we will see.”
In the lightweight division, Al Iaquinta returned after two years to deliver a signature finish against legend Diego Sanchez in the co-main event. “Ragin’ Al” moved up three spots to No. 11 at 155 pounds, one spot in front of No. 12-ranked Kevin Lee.
Jake Ellenberger fell off the top 15 after his loss to Mike Perry. “The Juggernaut” fell to No. 18 and “Platinum” came in at No. 21 as he continues to push toward the top 15. Matt Brown moved up to No. 14 and Leon Edwards takes the 15 spot.