Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight elites Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo will collide for the third time this weekend (Sat., Jan. 22, 2022) at UFC 270 inside Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Though the record heading into their rubber match stands only slightly in favor of Moreno at 1-0-1, it’s impossible to deny that he has all the momentum. After all, the rematch saw the Mexican athlete put on a masterclass, a dominant showing in all areas of martial arts that seemingly sent Figueiredo packing to Bantamweight. Instead, “Daico” stuck around, and when Alexandre Pantoja was unable to accept a title shot due to injury, Figueiredo was in prime position for a shot at retaking the belt. Could this be his last fight at Flyweight one way or another? Perhaps, and Friday’s weigh-ins may be a spectacle to keep an eye on.
Before all that, let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Deiveson Figueiredo (UFC 263), 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: Moreno has been very solid since he first joined the UFC roster, but his skills and confidence has exploded in the last 1.5 years. The Flyweight king now possesses arguably the division’s sharpest jab, slick counter combinations, and his wrestling/grappling remain quite potent.
Is there really any room for improvement based on the rematch? In their second battle, Moreno immediately jabbed his opponent up, kept him swinging at air, and landed punishing shots from his back foot. He took him down, dropped him and choked him out.
The same tools Moreno found success with last time are likely to be available again here, as Figueiredo is 34 years old, deep into his professional career, and unlikely to full revamp his game in half a year. As such, it would be wise for Moreno to start quickly and keep momentum in his corner. If Moreno begins the fight by blasting Figueiredo’s nose with stiff jabs and making him miss, it’ll really damage his opponent’s confidence, and the fight likely looks like a continuation of the rematch.
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: Brandon Moreno (UFC 263), Jussier Formiga (UFC Fight Night 148)
Keys to Victory: Sure, Figueiredo got beat up last time out, but that doesn’t mean the Brazilian sucks now. “Deus da Guerra” remains one of the division’s heaviest hitters, an all-offense fighter known for brutalizing opponents.
Seventeen finishes in 20 wins as a Flyweight is massive.
For as great as Moreno’s performance was in the rematch, Figueiredo’s was equally flat. The Brazilian never found his timing, tried to force exchanges, and ultimately didn’t look that upset when he lost. In short, it wasn’t his night, and “Daico” definitely has more to offer than he showed at UFC 263.
For Figueiredo, not chasing Moreno is the key. Due to the power in his hands, Figueiredo has grown accustomed to swinging big, and if he misses, most opponents pulled too far away to answer back. Instead of hunting the knockout from the first bell, Figueiredo has to take his time and attack easier targets, notably the lead calf and torso.
If Figueiredo is cutting off the cage and looking to slow Moreno down with attritional damage, he’ll eventually get the brawl he wants.
This trilogy match up is a bit rushed, which can lead us to some weird places.
If Moreno is victorious, the path is clear enough. “The Assassin Baby” has given no hints toward chasing super fights or doing anything else but defending his title. Likely, he’ll face off with a former foe like Askar Askarov, Kai Kara-France or Alexandre Pantoja next if he’s victorious here.
The waters muddy if Figueiredo wins. Do the run the fourth fight instantly? Moreno would deserve it, seeing as defeat Saturday night would be his first loss to the Brazilian in three attempts. However, a fourth fight in less than two years would be a hard sell, so another contender could jump him.
Lastly, Figueiredo has made it clear that the cut to Flyweight is absolutely miserable. Win or lose, there’s a real chance “Daico” transitions to Bantamweight next, which would certainly shake up the division.
At UFC 270, Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo will scrap in the co-main event. Which man leaves the cage as champion?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 270 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/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 270: “Ngannou vs. Gane” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.
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