Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno delivered in one of the best fights of the year.
History was made at Saturday night’s UFC 256 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Twenty-one days after defending his flyweight championship at UFC 255, Deiveson Figueiredo faced Brandon Moreno in the shortest turnaround for a title defense.
In a fight that set a flyweight record with 269 significant strikes, Figueiredo and Moreno had what UFC president Dana White called “the greatest fight in the history of the flyweight division,” as they battled to a thrilling majority draw. Judges had it 47-46 Figueiredo, 47-47 and 47-47. DAZN News scored the fight a draw, 47-47.
From the opening bell, Figueiredo and Moreno slung the leather without taking a step back. But there was a bit of controversy, which ultimately helped decide the fight.
After Figueiredo won the opening round, Moreno took the second with a pair of takedowns. Figueiredo had things in control in the third round. But the complexion of the bout changed when Figueiredo delivered a low blow while attempting a body kick. Moreno instantly fell to the mat and was coughing for a few moments. Moreno took a few minutes and said he was OK to continue. Instead of issuing a warning, referee Jason Herzog deducted one point from Figueiredo.
The foul woke Moreno up. He started pressing the action, scoring takedowns and rocking Figueiredo on more than one occasion. Undeterred, Figueiredo would fire back to let Moreno know that he wasn’t going to give up his belt that easy. Still, several sequences of the fight had Figueiredo landing stiff punches and elbows to the head and body, only for Moreno to instantly counter with a seemingly harder shot or takedown in scintillating action.
With the fight hanging in the balance in the fifth and final round, Figueiredo outgunned Moreno with heavy striking and notched a critical takedown with seconds remaining.
Watching perhaps the best fight of 2020, one can make the case that a rematch is more than warranted. Figueiredo (20-1-1) and Moreno (18-5-1, one no contest) said they’re up for a sequel when they heal up from the war they just endured.
“I’m here for whatever Dana wants,” Figueiredo said through an interpreter. “Let me breathe a bit first because the machine needs it.”
Added Moreno: “We need a rematch. We need that rematch. For me, for Figueiredo, for the fans, for everybody.”