MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the co-main event of UFC 263, a five-round UFC flyweight title bout between champion Deiveson Figueiredo and challenger Brandon Moreno. The event takes place on Saturday, June 12 at Gila River Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
Deiveson Figueiredo (-230)
Figueiredo (20-1-1) is the UFC flyweight champion. The 33-year-old Brazilian joined the UFC in 2017 and he has gone 9-1-1 overall in the promotion during that stretch with notable wins over the likes of Joseph Benavidez, Alex Perez, and Alexandre Pantoja, with his lone loss coming to Jussier Formiga. Figueiredo is currently riding a six-fight unbeaten streak and in his last fight, he fought to a draw against Moreno in an all-out war that was one of the best fights of 2020. Although Figueiredo wasn’t able to get his hand raised in that fight, it was an excellent contest for the fans to watch and the UFC is now running it back. In the first fight, Figueiredo showed off his excellent striking but he wasn’t able to get Moreno out of there. Had he not landed an illegal low blow, the judges would have scored the fight for him. This time around, Figueiredo is hoping for no controversy and a clean win.
Brandon Moreno (+190)
Moreno (18-5-2) is the No. 1 contender in the UFC flyweight division. The 27-year-old Mexican is in his second stint in the UFC, and overall he has a 6-2-2 record in the Octagon with notable wins over Brandon Royval, Kai Kara-France, and Jussier Formiga. Moreno is a very well-rounded fighter with solid wrestling skills plus good striking, a great chin, and awesome cardio. He’s proven that he’s one of the best flyweights in the world and he should that when he fought to a draw with Figueiredo the first time around. It will be interesting to see what adjustments Moreno makes in the rematch. In the first fight, he had the most success with his wrestling. If he is able to follow a grappling-heavy game plan this time around, he certainly has a chance to pull off the upset. But if he chooses to stand and trade with Figueiredo, this could be a tough night at the office for him based on what we saw before.
Fight Breakdown: The last fight between these two was an absolute war that went the full five rounds, but I don’t think the rematch goes the distance. Both men took a lot of punishment in that last fight, especially Moreno, and whenever a fighter takes that much damage in their last fight, they are more prone to being stopped their next time out. As good of a chin as Moreno showed off in their first fight, I just feel like it’s a matter of time until Figueiredo cracks him and puts him out. This should be a fun fight for as long as it lasts, but I don’t think it goes the distance this time around. Instead, I’m expecting Figueiredo to hurt Moreno and stop him with strikes at some point during the fight.
Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo