UFC 256: Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno fight to a Majority Draw in UFC flyweight classic

A point deduction for a groin strike was the difference-maker as UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno fought to a Majority Draw at UFC 256.

Both men were fighting just three weeks after their previous contests – and victories – three weeks earlier at UFC 255 and the pair looked to be in fighting shape as they let fly in a high-pace opening round.

Figueiredo started proceedings with a spinning back kick to the body and some big punches before attempting a takedown. Moreno resisted and landed a takedown with his own but the contest soon returned to the feet. The Brazilian was then happy to stalk the Mexican to land power strikes for the rest of the round.

That frenetic pace continued in the second. Figueiredo landed more punches, prompting Moreno to get another takedown. An eye poke briefly paused the fight and Figueiredo scrambled back to his feet once play had resumed. Moreno’s boxing combinations started to land with more consistency and both fighters were throwing heat in some wild punching exchanges, before Figueiredo was taken down once again towards the end of the round.

Figueiredo appeared fatigued in the third round but was still looking to land his power strikes. Perhaps sensing the Brazilian was tired, Moreno clinched with Figueiredo to sap his energy further but any of his success in the middle stanza was quickly halted when he received a front kick straight to the groin. For that, Figueiredo was deducted a point as Moreno was writhing around in agony. Thankfully, the Mexican recovered so they resumed the fight where they left off – wild striking exchanges, with takedowns mixed in.

Moreno and Figueiredo continued to swing leather at each other in the fourth round, but it’s the former who is coming off these skirmishes the better before scoring another takedown. He kept Figueiredo down with his back to the mat for the longest period of the fight so far, but did little to advance position. Moreno looked like he hurt Figueiredo on a couple of occasions in this period of five minutes as things ramped up for the final round.

Figueiredo landed a number of kicks to begin the fifth round and Moreno’s output significantly dwindled as he had injured his left shoulder, something he later said was due to the sheer volume of jabs he was throwing towards his opponent’s face. Still, Moreno was more than happy to be in the pocket and throw punches with that injured arm, but it was Figueiredo who was landing the more damaging strikes with regularity. The Brazilian managed to throw Moreno down to the canvas in the closing stages of the fight to end the contest with a big statement.

In this back-and-forth war, the judges scored the contest 47-46 (Figueiredo), 47-47, 47-47 for a Majority Draw. This means Figueiredo remains champion, but we should be getting a rematch. On the basis of what we saw at UFC 256, that can only be a good thing.


UFC 256: Charles Oliveira dominates Tony Ferguson over three rounds

Charles Oliveira confirmed his arrival as the MMA full package with a commanding performance and victory over former interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson wasn’t allowed to breathe in the fight.

In the first round, Oliveira picked away at Ferguson at range with kicks and punches before picking his foe up and slamming him on the ground. The Brazilian moved to full mount and let fire with damaging ground and pound before snatching an arm and cracking on an armbar, hyper-extending Ferguson’s arm. Ferguson somehow gutted it out and refused to tap as the horn sounded.

Ferguson entered the second round looking like his arm was in some serious trouble from that aforementioned armbar. “El Cucuy” wasn’t really afforded any time to regain his bearings as Oliveira quickly landed another takedown and controlled the American on the mat. During that takedown, Ferguson landed a standing elbow which cut Oliveira but that was the only legal damage Ferguson could cause, having forced a fight pause due to an errant upkick while “Do Bronx” was grounded.

Oliveira slammed Ferguson once again in the third round and at one point looked close to snatching a triangle choke or another armbar, but Ferguson managed to escape the round and fight without being finished.

All three judges scored the contest 30-26 in Oliveira’s favour.


UFC 256: Mackenzie Dern bests Virna Jandiroba in three-round scrap


Quite often when you get two ground experts paired against one another, the two opponents scrap on the feet. That trend followed when Mackenzie Dern fought Virna Jandiroba.

In the first round, Dern showed off her improved boxing and was consistent in her punching output as she put Jandiroba on the back foot with boxing combinations and blitz attacks.

Jandiroba turned things around in the second round, though, most notably landing a knee flush to Dern’s nose and scored a takedown to finish the middle stanza on top.

Dern and Jandiroba both exchanged takedowns and strikes in the third and final round, but it was Dern who landed the more damaging shots and ended the fight with momentum on her side.

All three judges scored the contest 29-28 in Dern’s favour.


UFC 256: Kevin Holland goes 5-0 in 2020 with KO win over Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

Kevin Holland capped off a remarkable 2020 with his fifth win since May, tying the UFC record for most victories in a calendar year.

And the win was as impressive as the record, taking home a knockout win in stunning circumstances over his most dangerous opponent yet in Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Souza took Holland down early and that looked like it could spell danger to the American.

Holland, who was constantly talking throughout this short contest, managed to slip out of his precarious position to slam a right hand into Jacare’s head from his position on the ground, hurting the Brazilian.

Smelling blood, Holland managed to gain a dominant position to land a flurry of punches on a stunned Souza to go 5-0 in 2020 in spectacular style.

“Big Mouth” called out Khamzat Chimaev for good measure after the fight.


UFC 256: Ciryl Gane bags biggest win of his career with knockout against Junior Dos Santos

With the world being disrupted this year with COVID-19, French heavyweight prospect Cyril Gane began and ended his 2020 at UFC 256 with the biggest win of his MMA career.

Gane scored with strikes throughout the opening round, but opponent Junior Dos Santos – a former UFC heavyweight champion – marched on headhunting, looking to land big punches and did so as the first five minutes were coming to a close.

Dos Santos continued to move forward until he was hurt by a right hand. Gane then launched a follow-up elbow which sent Dos Santos crashing down to the canvas and the follow up punches forced referee Jerin Valel to call a stop to the action.

Ranked 14th, Gane is expected to advance in the UFC rankings released on Tuesday after this big victory over #7 Dos Santos.

Bigger tests lay ahead of the Frenchman.


UFC 256: Figueiredo vs. Moreno full results

Flyweight: Deiveson Figueiredo (c) and Brandon Moreno fought to a Majority Draw (majority) after five rounds
Lightweight: Charles Oliveira def. Tony Ferguson by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Strawweight: Mackenzie Dern def. Virna Jandiroba by unanimous decision after three rounds
Middleweight: Kevin Holland def. Ronaldo Souza by KO (punch) at 1:45 of round one
Heavyweight: Ciryl Gane def. Junior dos Santos by TKO (elbow) at 2:34 of round two
Featherweight: Cub Swanson def. Daniel Pineda by KO (punches) at 1:52 of round two
Lightweight: Rafael Fiziev def. Renato Moicano by KO (punches) at 4:05 of round one
Featherweight: Gavin Tucker def. Billy Quarantillo by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Strawweight: Tecia Torres def. Sam Hughes by TKO (doctor stoppage) in between the first and second round
Featherweight: Chase Hooper def. Peter Barrett by submission (heel hook) at 3:02 of round three