Sayif Saud: Brandon Moreno suffered ‘serious’ knee injury prior to UFC 283 title win
Brandon Moreno may have looked incredible in his undisputed title win this past weekend, but the road to UFC 283 was a bumpy one.
Moreno picked up a third-round doctor’s stoppage TKO win over longtime rival Deiveson Figueiredo in their fourth meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “The Assassin Baby” delivered one of the best performances of his career in the victory, but along the way, his head coach Sayif Saud of Fortis MMA revealed that Moreno dealt with a lot in fight camp.
“Brandon had a lot of adversity in this camp,” Saud said on The MMA Hour. “Brandon hurt his knee really badly and we kept that a secret. Nobody knew about it, and not only did he have all of those other things to deal with, but physically [as well].
“He got really sick last month. He got that flu [that was going around] and for two weeks, he was so sick. He would do rounds, hack s*** up, blow his nose, and, ‘Yes sir, yes sir,’ but he was struggling.”
Moreno ended up showing no signs of any injuries during the fight itself, which is why the revelation from Saud comes as a surprise.
In fact, Saud says it wasn’t just a tweak of the knee.
“It was serious,” Saud said. “It popped, but this guy would fight with one leg. There was never a time in Brandon’s mind that he wasn’t fighting. That’s the spirit of a champion.
“But we worked through it. I made him tape up his knee [every day], and thank God we made it through.
“He never showed any mental weakness or mental fatigue,” Saud continued. “The guy is just a tank, so we just powered through it all, and there was some tenuous moments. I had to keep balanced to make sure he didn’t hurt himself more. That guy will run through a wall, he’ll do whatever it takes.
“There was a lot that happened in the camp, even though it was short camp.”
When asked if there was any chance Moreno would’ve pulled out of the fight with the injury, Saud said Moreno’s manager Jason House felt that maybe his client shouldn’t compete with everything that had happened — the injury, illness, plus Moreno’s head coach James Krause getting suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission, and essentially, from coaching any UFC fighters.
Saud highly respects House’s attitude, yet he knew deep down Moreno would be able to get through the adversity like a champion.
“I told him, ‘It’s the first week, calm down, take a breath,’” Saud explained. “He was just so freaked out and the truth was, and I’ve known Jason for 10 years, I had never seen him that way. He cares so much about Brandon that he didn’t want him to fight, and if Brandon doesn’t fight, Jason doesn’t get paid at all.
“The only reason I thought Brandon could fight was because I could see the mindset, and I was like, ‘This kid can overcome this. We can do this. We can really get this done. Not only are we going to do this, we’re going to do it well.’
“I believed in Brandon, I believed in everybody as a team, all of the coaches worked so hard for this. Everybody was committed like a family.”
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