Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight rivals Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will collide once more this weekend (Sat., Jan. 21, 2023) at UFC 283 inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The Figgy vs. “Assassin Baby” saga continues. Is this the last chapter? It certainly appears to be the last consecutive one at a minimum. The duo currently stand all tied up opposite one another, as both have scored a single victory alongside their initial draw. Moreno, at least, fought Kai Kara-France in his last outing, but this will be Figueiredo’s fourth straight match up against Moreno.
One way or another, the Flyweight division must move forward, and the titles have to unify. Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Key Wins: Brandon Moreno (UFC 270), 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)
Key Losses: Brandon Moreno (UFC 263), Jussier Formiga (UFC Fight Night 148)
Keys to Victory: Figueiredo really has it all. He’s a tremendous athlete, strong and fast for 125 pounds. The Brazilian has several great weapons on the feet that can produce instant finishes, he can wrestle quite well, and his jiu-jitsu is downright nasty. In his last bout with Moreno, he also proved he can follow a game plan, which was really the missing piece in being a complete fighter.
It’s hard to call for too much change from Figueiredo’s last game plan. After all, it was well-thought and well-executed, and Figueiredo’s result changed from getting smashed to winning a competitive decision.
With that in mind, let’s recap what worked so well for “Daico” last time out. Rather than chase Moreno around, he hung back and worked his distance kickboxing. He did well to take away Moreno’s jab with the calf kick, then he timed Moreno coming in with counter punches and reactive takedowns.
As a result, Moreno couldn’t employ his volume and pressure nearly as effectively. It was great work, and the overall strategy here should remain the same.
Key Wins: Deiveson Figueiredo (UFC 263), Kai Kara-France (UFC 277), Jussier Formiga (UFC Fight Night 170), Dustin Ortiz (UFC Fight Night 108), Brandon Royval (UFC 255), Kai Kara-France (UFC 245)
Key Losses: Deiveson Figueiredo (UFC 270), Sergio Pettis (UFC Fight Night 114), Alexandre Pantoja (UFC Fight Night 129)
Keys to Victory: Moreno isn’t quite the unbelievable athletic talent of his opponent. However, he is a hugely opportunistic and experienced finisher, and he has the best jab in the division.
Moreno never quite found his timing in the third fight. It seemed like he entered with extreme confidence after the second fight — an absolute battering in his defense — but the counters of Figueiredo pretty quickly caught him off-guard, and he never managed to fully rebound.
In this fourth fight, it seems essential that Moreno really mix it up. Last time, he was really intent on boxing up the Brazilian. This time, I think calf and body kicks should be a big focus, as well as takedown attempts. He cannot be predictable: that’s how Figueiredo was able to time him so successfully last time.
If Moreno is landing kicks and threatening takedowns, the jab will be there, too.
I don’t care how many times this gets run back, it’s a banger of a match up. The future of the Flyweight division is up for grabs, as well as the opportunity to be declared the better man in this multi-year rivalry.
It’s also worth-mentioning that Figueiredo is 35 years old and faces a brutal weight cut each time he touches the scale at 125 pounds. His time at Flyweight feels limited, and he’s been talking about Bantamweight for years. Win or lose, it feels imminent.
Moreno is much more situated to remain at Flyweight for years to come. At 29 years of age, he’s going to be a player in the title mix regardless of the outcome here. Still, this fight is the close of the Figueriedo vs. Moreno era, and “The Assassin Baby” wants to end this saga on top.
At UFC 283, Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will finally settle things. Which man leaves the cage with a title?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 283 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 on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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