Like many children who grew up in Tijuana, Brandon Moreno just wanted something to occupy him.
“I was very young and I was trying to fill my time with something good, something productive,” he said. I’m a boxing fan, but I didn’t know much about combat sports.
Watch the Ultimate Fighter return on June 1 with your ESPN + subscription
Capoeira looked quite interesting and he went in search of a school which turned out to be an almost impossible task, as Tijuana is not exactly a hotbed of Brazilian martial art.
“I wanted to do Capoeira, but I never found a Capoeira room,” he said with a laugh. “So I was walking down the street and found an MMA gym and started doing jiu-jitsu and kickboxing. My teacher was a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, so I did a lot.
It was a life-changing gesture. Fast forward to the present day and Moreno, 22, is now 11-3 as a pro and poised to change his life even more as he begins his quest for a season-shot UFC flyweight title 24 from The Ultimate Fighter. However, despite his youth, he feels he is on time for his close-up.