This is the UFC 256 live blog for Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno, the flyweight main event on Saturday’s fight card at UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Figueiredo, the undisputed flyweight champ, makes a historic turnaround by defending his title twice within three weeks having notched his first defense at UFC 255 on Nov. 21. The Brazilian has won five straight bouts on his current run, while Moreno arrives after a 4-0-1 run that includes a TKO over Brandon Royval at UFC 255.
Check out the UFC 256 live blog below.
Round 1: Jason Herzog is the third man in the cage for this main event and Figueiredo comes out strong with a big right hand. Moreno gets backed to the cage but ducks under and now they are in a clinch. Moreno manages to sneak to the back and get a takedown but Figueiredo doesn’t stay still and scrambles back to his feet.
At range, Figueiredo is marching forward with total disdain for Moreno’s striking and Moreno lands a few shots as a results. But Figueiredo is her for one reason and that reason is to swing them thangs. A big leaping left hook to the body from the champ lands. And a jab. Moreno is not able to keep Figueiredo off him. Moreno throws a head kick that barely misses but he slips and now Figueiredo is standing over him. Moreno is active with his feet though and pushes him off.
Back on the feet and Figueiredo is marching forward like the terminator and he lands a big right hand over the top. Moreno is covering up and moving his body but he doesn’t have the footwork to keep Figueiredo off him. Figueiredo digs to the body and Moreno is starting to show some wear on his face but so far hasn’t been hurt.
Moreno is throwing with Figueiredo and this is wildly fun. Moreno is also throwing a lot of head kicks bit has yet to land one clean. Still, the champion comes forward and he is landing more often than not. No way Moreno can keep fighting like this and not gas out.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Figueiredo.
Round 2: Thus far, Moreno’s chin has held up to the power shots of Figueiredo but the clear difference in power is digging Moreno a hole. He’s gonna need a change but round two starts much like the first, with Figueiredo marching him down. The champ lands a big spinning body kick and Moreno responds with a good combo that lands on Figueiredo’s chin. The champ is working leg kicks and body kicks now as well, just blasting shots wherever he can land them. Moreno lands a good shot to the body though.
Now Figueiredo has Moreno against the fence and rifles a combo into Moreno that lands clean. It seems like Figueiredo is now completely unafraid of the offense from Moreno and he’s going to try and smash him but Moreno’s chin is granite. Figueiredo leaps forward and Moreno grabs a body lock and trips for the takedown. Figueiredo pushes off with his feet to create a scramble but he also pushes off with a finger in the eye and Herzog steps in.
After a brief break, the fight is restarted with Moreno in Figueiredo’s guard but not for long. The champ creates a scramble and he’s back to his feet. Now they are brawling again with both men landing but Figueiredo’s shots clearly packing more power. Seriously impressed by Moreno’s chin though. He’s eaten clean shots from Figueiredo and seems totally fine. And he’s firing back good shots of his own, including a right hand that gets Figueiredo’s attention. It seems like Figueiredo has perhaps decided he needs to ease off the pressure because Moreno is not going down.
As I type that though, Moreno clearly gets hurt by something and Figueiredo smells blood. Moreno is in full retreat but manages to get another bodylock takedown to get a respite. They are back up quickly though and Figueiredo is stalking forward with short time. A good jab from Moreno halts Figueiredo’s advance momentarily and the round ends.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Figueiredo, 20-18 Figueiredo overall.
Round 3: Moreno’s eye has swollen up pretty substantially but he can still see and is thus cleared to continue. This is where things get interesting with Figueiredo’s weight cut. Figueiredo is coming forward strongly now and Moreno is in retreat. Moreno catches a kick and almost gets a takedown but the champ avoids. And Moreno lands a head kick. Figueiredo is still marching and rips Moreno to the body. Now to the head. Moreno in retreat and eats another body shot. But just as Figueiredo starts to build momentum, Moreno lands right of his own.
Against, Figueiredo is stalking and Moreno is throwing a little more wildly now. Figueiredo lands a right hand but Moreno clinches and slows things down. Moreno is so tough. Every time Figueiredo steps in, Moreno is now biting down and slowing the advance. This is phone booth fighting and Moreno is holding his own. Figueiredo is getting a little overconfident here and he’s eating shots as a result.
And oh no! A massive front kick lands directly on Moreno’s cup and the sound of it was harsh. Moreno is in serious pain on the mat right now and he may well not make it back. That was a massive kick to the groin and Moreno is coughing like he’s going to throw up. Moreno is now back up on his feet and says he’s ready to go but before they get going, Jason Herzog takes a points from Figueiredo so that could be a big change.
When the action resumes, Moreno comes out strong but Figueiredo mixes things up by shooting a takedown that he gets. After some time on top, Moreno scrambles back to his feet and once again, it’s the champ in pursuit while Moreno moves away and counters. But now the champion is much slower and he eats a big right hand from the challenger. And another! Things are suddenly back to even!
MMAFighting scores the round 10-8 Moreno, 28-28 overall.
Round 4: In the corner, Figueiredo seems fine but it’s possible the champion is starting to slow down given his big weight cuts in the past 30 days. But if he is, that doesn’t stop him from landing a flying knee to start the round. And still he comes forward but Moreno remains game. Huge left hook lands for the champion but Moreno lands a one-two of his own and now it seems like Moreno is sitting down on his punches even more. A head kick from Moreno is blocked but lands enough to wobble the champion! Figueiredo still on shakey legs and goes for a takedown but can’t get it and Moreno then shoots his own takedown and gets it!
Moreno is now on top of Figueiredo against the fence and Figueiredo seems to be visibly tired. He still is able to get up through and when they break, he lands a big body-head combo. Figueiredois definitely tired though as his hands are at his waist. But he lands a big combo! Moreno backs off and then catches Figueiredo coming in! Huge combo from the champion and Figueiredo’s legs are wobbly again! This is a dog fight! Figueiredo stumbles forward and Moreno tees off but a big right from Figueiredo backs him off! This is insanity!
Figueiredo is absolutely gassed but Moreno is tired as well. Figueiredo keeps coming forward, winging punches and landing but Moreno ducks under and gets a takedown. Now Moreno is in top halfguard and he’s working. Figueiredo is trying to crete space but he doesn’t have the same energy as early on and Moreno stays sticky. Figueiredo is able to get up but Moreno lands a big left hand that stumbles him! And another! Figueiredo is on skates and Moreno is starting to feel it but backs off as the round ends.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Moreno, 38-37 Moreno overall.
Round 5: This is an absolutely Fight of the Year contender already and we still have the final round to go. Figueiredo needs this round and Moreno appears to be the fresher fighter so it’s going to take a real championship effort from Figueiredo.
It doesn’t happen to start the round though as both men seems to be taking a rest to start. Figueiredo lands some good body kicks but Moreno is a block of granite. He cannot be broken by Figueiredo and now Moreno is the one coming forward. But this is working for Figueiredo who is landing well on the counter and Moreno’s activity is not enough right now.
Three minutes left and now it looks like Moreno may have broken his left arm and he’s not throwing any offense whatsoever right now. Figueiredo isn’t doing much either though and this is a bit of a disappointing end to this otherwise sensational fight. Figueiredo is pulling away as Moreno isn’t throwing much and it’s allowing Figueiredo’s slower pace to take over. Moreno is coming forward but just can’t do anything without his left arm. Well, now he threw it and it landed but Figueiredo is scoring points now.
A minute left and Moreno needs some action to ice this. He forces a clinch but Figueiredois just holding on and Moreno can’t get anything done. Figueiredo tosses Moreno and ends up on top and with short time the champion is trying to put a stamp on it. Nothing huge lands but it’s enough to seal the round for the champion.
MMAFighting scores the round 10-9 Figueiredo, 47-47 overall.
OFFICIAL DECISION: Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno go to a majority draw (47-46 Figueiredo, 47-47, 47-47).