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Like many kids growing up in Tijuana, Brandon Moreno just wanted something to keep him busy.

“I was very young and trying to fill up my time with something good, something productive,” he said. I’m a fan of boxing, but I didn’t know a lot about combat sports.”

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Capoeira looked interesting enough, and he went off to find a school, which turned into a near impossible task, as Tijuana isn’t exactly a hotbed of the Brazilian martial art.

“I wanted to do Capoeira, but I never found a Capoeira gym,” he laughed. “So then I was walking on the street and I found an MMA gym and I started doing jiu-jitsu and kickboxing. My teacher was a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, so I did a lot of that.”

It was a life-altering move. Fast forward to the present day and the 22-year-old Moreno is now 11-3 as a pro and on the verge of changing his life even more as he begins his quest for a UFC flyweight title shot on season 24 of The Ultimate Fighter. Yet despite his youth, he feels that he’s right on time for his close-up.


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