A new strategy and a new team helped lead Deiveson Figueiredo back to the flyweight title after winning a unanimous decision over Brandon Moreno in the UFC 270 co-main event.
It was a stellar performance from both combatants but it was Figueiredo’s power punches that dropped Moreno to the canvas multiple times over five rounds that likely helped the Brazilian secure the victory. When the scores were tallied, all three judges gave the fight 48-47 to Figueiredo as he reclaims the 125-pound title in his third battle against Moreno.
“Today is my day,” Figueiredo said with the title on his shoulder. “It’s my day. Thank you so much Brandon Moreno. I’m ready for a fourth fight against Brandon in Mexico.”
Looking for a better start than the rematch, Figueiredo looked to establish some early leg kicks but Moreno showed great patience while firing back with some quick counters that backed off the Brazilian. Figueiredo was dedicated to those calf kicks, which continued to tag Moreno as the first round came to a close.
Figueiredo continued to dig to that lead leg while Moreno targeted the head with some fast and explosive punches that came from different angles. As Moreno started to increase his output, Figueiredo was putting a little bit more pop behind his punches, which led to a solid left hand landing flush.
In return, Moreno unleashed a multi-strike combination with a jab and a left hand over the top that slipped through Figueiredo’s defense and appeared to wobble him at least momentarily.
As the third round got started, Figueiredo cracked Moreno with a hard shot that sent the flyweight champion stumbling backwards before ultimately rolling and getting back to his feet. A second later as Figueiredo pushed forward, Moreno countered by blitzing him with punches including a left hand that staggered the Brazilian.
The left hand continued to pay off but then just before the horn sounded, Figueiredo uncorked a massive right hand that sat Moreno down. Time ran out before Figueiredo could capitalize but that helped him stunt whatever momentum Moreno had started to build.
Despite being dropped, Moreno did not slow down in the championship rounds as he sought to secure his first title defense. Moreno was the busier fighter, constantly throwing combinations with Figueiredo suddenly slowing down as the flyweights prepared to step out for the final five minutes.
Moreno continued to push the pace with Figueiredo more resigned to throw a single power punch at a time while making sure to keep his hands up to avoid the champion’s fast hands. Just when it looked like the momentum was swinging towards Moreno with time ticking towards the end of the fight, Figueiredo fired off another powerful right hand that puts the Mexican born flyweight down on the canvas before he quickly bounced back up to his feet.
Figueiredo connected with two more hard right hands late but then Moreno just invited him into a fire fight, which resulted in “The Assassin Baby” unloading with some nasty punches that also connected flush. While Moreno certainly made a strong showing late, it was Figueiredo’s ability to hurt him earlier in the round that likely swayed the judges in the end.
“I feel like I threw better combinations with more speed,” Moreno said following the fight. “Maybe he connected with more power.
“Obviously I feel like I won but it is what it is. I felt like he did a better game plan. I felt I was putting a better pace on the fight. I need to watch the fight again to see what happened.”
Considering their first meeting ended in a draw with Moreno winning the rematch and then Figueiredo getting revenge in the trilogy, it’s going to be awfully hard to avoid a fourth fight between the flyweights. That may not sound like much fun to the rest of the contenders at 125 pounds but it would appear inevitable that Figueiredo and Moreno will meet again before 2022 is over.