In 2020, Deiveson Figueiredo put the UFC flyweight title on the line against Brandon Moreno. The champion entered the bout as the significant favorite, but Moreno pushed him to the limit in one of the greatest fights of the year. It ended in a majority draw.
This weekend at UFC 263 in Glendale, Arizona, they'll run it back to find out who is really the best flyweight in the promotion. Ahead of the highly anticipated rematch, theScore's Nick Baldwin revisits the instant classic that was Figueiredo-Moreno 1 to see if the judges made the right call.
Event: UFC 256
Date: Dec. 12, 2020
Location: Las Vegas
Official result: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno ruled majority draw (48-46, 47-47, 47-47)
Round 1: The flyweights got off to a fast start in the main event. Figueiredo opened with a spinning back kick, indicating to Moreno that he wasn't there to play around. Moreno briefly got Figueiredo to the ground and landed a solid jab when the champ returned to his feet. Figueiredo landed a nice right hand and dug into Moreno's body with a left punch. Around the halfway mark, Figueiredo snapped Moreno's head back with a jab and then peppered the challenger with more punches. Moreno clipped him with a right hand and then followed up with a partially blocked head kick. Figueiredo landed the more impactful strikes over the first five minutes, but Moreno showed he can absolutely threaten the title-holder on the feet. theScore gives the round to Figueiredo, 10-9.
Round 2: Moreno started the round with two overhand punches. Figueiredo loaded up on a nasty spinning back kick to the body that got his opponent's attention. Moreno slipped his punches well. Figueiredo landed a hard right hand and unloaded in the clinch. Moreno fired back with shots of his own before securing a takedown. Figueiredo poked Moreno in the eye while on his back and the action came to a halt momentarily. Once the fight resumed, Figueiredo got back to his feet and traded huge shots in the pocket. The champion followed up with an overhand left before Moreno landed a big right, a jab, and then a low kick. Figueiredo swarmed Moreno up against the fence but was taken down again. Moreno connected with a few clean punches to end the round. This frame was closer than the first, but theScore gives the round to Figueiredo, 10-9.
Round 3: Figueiredo landed a brutal body shot near the beginning of the stanza. He came out firing after possibly losing the second round. He continued to score with his hands, but Moreno didn't seem fazed by the punishment. Figueiredo landed a pair of left hooks but then hit Moreno in the groin with a front kick. Referee Jason Herzog took a point from Figueiredo, likely because it was his second foul. When the action got back underway, Figueiredo scored his first takedown of the night. Moreno tagged Figueiredo with an overhand right to end the frame. theScore scores the round 9-9 (including the point deduction to Figueiredo).
Round 4: Figueiredo landed several left hands before tagging Moreno with a powerful one. Moreno made good on a slick combination - a left body shot followed by a right hand. He connected with more punches and then a right overhand shot and a high kick. Figueiredo snuck in a right hand. Moreno took him down again, this time controlling him for about 40 seconds. Figueiredo connected with his right and landed more body shots, and then he landed a massive uppercut.
Moments later, Moreno hurt him up against the fence with a barrage of shots. Figueiredo landed a few punches and went for a takedown out of desperation but wasn't able to secure it. The flyweights traded right hands, and Figueiredo looked a bit tired. Moreno secured another takedown. The challenger pressed forward and landed a few punches at the end of the round, which should clearly go in his favor. theScore gives the round to Moreno, 10-9.
Round 5: Figueiredo and Moreno fought at a slower pace at the start of the fifth. Figueiredo landed a few punches before Moreno responded with a left hand. Figueiredo connected with a right and a leg kick before landing a left shot. Moreno caught him with a left punch up against the fence and then clinched the champ with 45 seconds remaining in the fight. Figueiredo got on top, though, and landed some hard ground-and-pound to end the contest. He stayed quite a bit busier than his opponent, so theScore gives the round to Figueiredo, 10-9.
theScore's scorecard: 48-46 Figueiredo
They didn't, but I can't really complain about a 47-47 score. The closest round was the second, and it could've gone to Moreno. In fact, I gave that round to Moreno and thought the fight was a draw while watching it live in December.
Upon second viewing, it appears Figueiredo landed the slightly better shots and that Moreno didn't do enough with his takedowns. But it's not difficult to see how one could think Moreno won the round.
In the end, a draw was perfectly acceptable. Now, the two combatants will have a chance to get the better of each other this weekend.