The flyweight title bout was made on three weeks’ notice after both men won at UFC 255, and the duo put on a bout that will place high on the list for “Fight of the Year,” if not win it outright.
After a 25-minute whirlwind of action, a point deduction spelled the difference, as Figueiredo (20-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC), who lost a point in the third round due to a low blow, retained the belt in a majority draw. The judges scores were 47-46 for Figueiredo and a pair of 47-47 marks.
The opening round saw Figueiredo, who had won each of his past four bouts inside of seven minutes, not showing much respect for Moreno (18-5-2 MMA, 6-2-2 UFC), as he stood right in front of the challenger and landed shots to the head and body. But Moreno stayed composed and started landing crisp straight hands of his own, making it clear he wasn’t going to be bullied.
Moreno, a Tijuana native who was looking to become the first Mexican-born champion in UFC history, gained in confidence in the second round and became more assertive. Another back-and-forth standup round ensued, with a pair of Moreno takedowns likely making the difference.
The wild and frenetic pace continued in the third. Figueiredo continued landing body shots and kicks. Moreno began landing more frequently. Figueiredo then landed a bullseye of a groin kick. It was his second foul, after an eye poke in the second, and ref Jason Herzog deducted a point.
— UFC (@ufc) December 13, 2020
The fourth round was won of the wildest in the history of the sport, a malestrom of violence, with the Brazilian and Mexican both fighting with a spirit that did their countries proud.
In the fifth, Moreno appeared to favor a left arm injury of some sort, which slowed him down, and this enabled a tiring Figueiredo to land enough to take the round and save his belt.
After the bout, Figueiredo reveled he was in the hospital with food poisoning until 2 a.m. Saturday. He also would not criticize Herzog’s decision to deduct a point.
“The ref did his job,” he said through an interpreter. “I throw the low kick on accident, and it’s not my job do say what he should do.”
Both fighters indicated an interest in a rematch afterwards.
The flyweight title bout was the UFC 256 main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN2/ESPN+.
Complete 256 results:
- Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno is ruled a major draw (47-46 Figueiredo, 47-47, 47-47-)
- Charles Oliveira def. Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
- Mackenzie Dern def. Virna Jandiroba via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Kevin Holland def. Ronaldo Souza via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:45
- Ciryl Gane def. Junior Dos Santos via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 2:34
- Cub Swanson def. Daniel Pineda via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 1:52
- Rafael Fiziev def. Renato Moicano via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:05
- Gavin Tucker def. Billy Quarantillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tecia Torres def. Sam Hughes via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
- Chase Hooper def. Peter Barrett via submission (heel hook) – Round 3, 3:02