Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight talents Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will clash TONIGHT (Sat., Dec. 12, 2020) at UFC 256 inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In no other year but 2020 could Flyweights headline the final two pay-per-view (PPV) events of the year, but everyone else’s loss is Figueiredo’s opportunity. “Daico” will attempt to make history with two title defenses in three weeks. For a champion whose violent style is already building him into a fan favorite, victory here could really build his fame. Credit goes to Moreno as well, who will challenge for the title after fighting just three weeks ago. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) product has always had talent and toughness, but at just 27 years old, it’s all clicking more than ever, resulting in a fluid overall game and four-fight unbeaten streak.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Joseph Benavidez (UFC Fight Island 2, UFC Fight Night 169), Alex Perez (UFC 255), Alexandre Pantoja (UFC 240), John Moraga (UFC Fight Night 135), Tim Elliott (UFC Fight Night 161), Joseph Morales (UFC Fight Night 125)
Key Losses: Jussier Formiga (UFC Fight Night 148)
Keys to Victory: Figueiredo is a powerhouse, statistically one of the heaviest punchers in the sport. He’s also proving nearly as dynamic on the mat, which puts most of his opponents at near constant threat of being finished.
On paper, Figueiredo is better than Moreno everywhere. He hits quite a bit harder, is physically stronger, and is more likely to snatch up the neck on the floor. However, the risk of Moreno taking over late via volume and conditioning does exist, and Figueiredo has to be aware of it.
Fortunately, Figueiredo has several ways he can conserve energy if the finish does not materialize. For one, he doesn’t have to match Moreno’s volume, not when one of his strikes will clearly count for much more. If Figueiredo is ripping to the body, that will also help take some of the pep out of Moreno’s step.
In addition, Figueiredo should be willing to wrestle. In the past, he’s shown great body lock takedowns and then an ability to lock his foe down from top position. If timed properly, these takedowns could provide him some control time and rest.
Key Wins: Jussier Formiga (UFC Fight Night 170), Dustin Ortiz (UFC Fight Night 108), Brandon Royval (UFC 255), Kai Kara-France (UFC 245)
Key Losses: Sergio Pettis (UFC Fight Night 114), Alexandre Pantoja (UFC Fight Night 129)
Keys to Victory: At this point in his career, Moreno can really do it all. He’s developed into a very fast boxer, able to counter well, move his head, and kick surprisingly hard. On the mat, Moreno remains a serious submission threat, but he’s greatly improved his defensive scrambling.
Moreno has a real path to victory in this fight. For the first time since Jussier Formiga, Figueiredo will be faced with an opponent unlikely to walk straight toward him and his power punches. Moreno has the length and jab to fight at distance, and the counter punching to make his opponent pay for any wide swings.
Figueiredo is amazing at timing opponents who move forward, but Moreno doesn’t have to do that. He can hang back with range strikes and look to counter. “Deus Da Guerra” is not a patient man, and he’ll soon look to take the fight to Moreno. The champion is still dangerous on the lead, but significantly less so, and his forward swings are Moreno’s opportunity to time takedowns.
The Brazilian will be tremendously dangerous early, but Moreno can still pull the tide to his favor with the correct gameplan.
History will be made ...
Figueiredo might just become a draw — or at least the Flyweight version of one! Even for fans who do not speak Portuguese, the Brazilian is fairly charismatic, and his fighting style is electric. He’s committed to defending the title often, and if he wins here, potential high-profile match ups with Henry Cejudo and/or Cody Garbrandt could be his future.
Not bad for a division that was previously on the chopping block.
As for Moreno, “The Assassin Baby” has a chance to shock the world. Given UFC’s constant search for Mexican champions/stars, winning the title would expand his popularity and exposure by a huge degree. In addition, Moreno would be the latest TUF product to capture a title, which is a neat accomplishment.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 256 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 256: “Figueiredo vs. Moreno” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
At UFC 256, Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will go to war in the main event. Which man will leave the cage with the title?