How Brandon Moreno and Nate Diaz became unlikeliest of friends and partners since UFC 263

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LOS ANGELES – UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno and Nate Diaz have struck up perhaps the unlikeliest of friendships.

Moreno (19-5-2 MMA, 7-2-2 UFC) and Diaz (20-13 MMA, 15-11 UFC) shared the same card at UFC 263 and sat next to each other on the dais at the pre-fight news conference where Diaz offered Moreno a puff of the joint he lit up on stage. They got to know each other after that, and Moreno wound up signing a deal with Diaz’s Represent Ltd clothing brand.

Moreno, who captured the 125-pound title with an upset finish of Deiveson Figueiredo, said the deal started when Diaz’s team sent him a package.

“It’s crazy because I met him in the press conference pre-fight,” Moreno said Tuesday at a UFC media lunch. “And backstage I went with him because he sent me a package of clothes with some friend, and I went with him and said, ‘Man, thank you so much for the clothes. It’s amazing.’ And the guy started talking to me, very nice guy. He has this personality where you hate him or you love him, but the guy was amazing with me. It was funny because the media started to have some fun, because he tried to give me the weed. I don’t smoke, but I respect him. I met him there in person, and he’s an amazing guy.”

He continued, “After the fights, not him in person, but some of his team invited me to the after party with him. But after the fights I was driving to Tijuana (to go on vacation).”

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Moreno’s happy-go-lucky attitude isn’t exactly a perfect match with Diaz’s chill, no-nonsense approach, but that’s exactly why “The Assassin Baby” has so much admiration for Diaz.

“That’s why I respect him,” Moreno said. “Maybe he looks like a rude guy like, ‘Oh, I’m a gangster,’ but then the guy comes to me with the best attitude and talked with me very friendly. I respect that, you know? He’s amazing.”

Unlike Moreno, Diaz didn’t prevail at UFC 263, but he came close after almost finishing Leon Edwards in the fifth round of their welterweight fight after he’d been mostly dominated and down on the scorecards through four rounds.

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