UFC books trilogy between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo

The trilogy is one for the UFC flyweight title. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto broke the news this evening that the promotion has finalized the third fight between the flyweight champion Brandon Moreno (19-5-2) and the former champion Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1).

The flyweight title fight will take place at UFC 269 on December 11th. Now, the UFC was actually leaning away from doing the trilogy with Moreno and Figueiredo. Originally, the promotion wanted Alexandre Pantoja to be the next challenger.

Pantoja and Moreno have history and Pantoja holds victories over Moreno. However, Pantoja wasn’t going to be ready until the beginning of next year and the UFC flyweight champion wanted to stay active.

With that in mind, the promotion went back to the former champion Figueiredo. Figueiredo has been asking the UFC for the third fight ever since he lost the title back in June to Moreno.

The two’s first fight was December 12th last year and the two fought to a draw. However, if it weren’t for a low blow which led to a point being taken, Figueiredo would’ve retained his UFC title that night and we likely wouldn’t have seen the rematch.

UFC 269 Flyweight Title Fight

That being said, a point was taken from Figueiredo and the fight was declared a draw. When the two rematched back in June at UFC 263, it was all Brandon Moreno. Moreno dominated the entire fight and submitted Figueiredo in the third round.

It’s been quite the journey for the UFC’s flyweight champion. He was the last pick on The Ultimate Fighter and he lost early on in the show. After having an okay run during his first stint with the UFC, the promotion cut him.

Since coming back to the UFC, it’s been all up for Moreno. Moreno started with a draw with Askar Askarov, but has since gone 4-0-1 which includes his title victory over Figueiredo back in June.

These two will meet almost a year exactly to the date of their first fight. If Figueiredo wins, there’s a clear case for a fourth fight. However, if Moreno wins, he can cement his status as the best and put the Figueiredo saga behind him.

After UFC Vegas 34, should Alexandre Pantoja be next for Brandon Moreno?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 34, we saw a pivotal matchup in the flyweight division. Alexandre Pantoja (23-5) was looking to pick up his second consecutive win while his opponent Brandon Royval (12-5) was looking to bounce back.

Pantoja entered the contest as the third ranked flyweight in the UFC. He’s had a very impressive run so far in his career with the promotion and this fight with Royval was a chance for him to make a statement about where he stands in the division.

The UFC flyweight champion Brandon Moreno (19-5-2) was in attendance as well so it made things even more intriguing. From the opening bell, this fight was all about Alexandre Pantoja.

He was able to control the fight and in the second round, he moved in for the kill. Pantoja was able to secure a dominant position on the back of Royval and locked in a rear naked choke.

Royval was forced to tap and Pantoja got the win at UFC Vegas 34. After the win, Pantoja called for a fight with Moreno and said that having defeated the champion previously, he should be next in line for the title.

Who should be next for the UFC’s flyweight title?

Pantoja does make an interesting argument. He’s ranked in the top three and he’s riding a two-fight win streak that should have him in the conversation for a UFC title shot.

That said, it might be a tough sell considering the two men that stand in front of him. Directly in front of him is Askar Askarov (13-0-1). Askarov and Pantoja just fought last year during the UFC’s first trip to Fight Island.

The Russian was able to defeat Pantoja be decision. Back in March, Askarov dominated Joseph Benavidez to pick up his third straight UFC victory. Like Pantoja, Askarov has also fought the champion. While Pantoja has a win over Moreno, Askarov fought him to a draw.

In front of Askarov is the former UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1). It’s crazy to think that if Figueiredo doesn’t land a kick that goes low, the UFC title picture at 125 would look completely different.

On the scorecards, Figueiredo would’ve defeated Brandon Moreno back in December. However, the deduction of a point due to the low kick caused the fight to end in a draw. In the immediate rematch, Moreno dominated and won the title.

Now, Figueiredo is calling for his rematch. The UFC is said to be considering it given how dominate Figueiredo was as champion. However, it’s far from a guarantee with Moreno leaning towards a new matchup after fighting Figueiredo two straight times.

I’m not sure what exactly is next at 125, but the flyweight division is incredibly intriguing right now. While Pantoja did look impressive over the weekend, I don’t believe he’s going to be next in line.

After becoming flyweight champion at UFC 263, what’s next for Brandon Moreno?

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 263, we saw the rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1) and Brandon Moreno (19-5-2). These two first met back in December and they fought to a draw. With that result, the UFC decided to run things back on Saturday night.

The first fight between these two was an instant classic. UFC 256’s main event was on the short-list for fight of the year. That night Deiveson Figueiredo should have walked away with the win, but due to a low blow, he was docked a point and the fight was declared a draw.

Had Figueiredo not been docked that point, we wouldn’t have seen this rematch at UFC 263. With getting this new opportunity, Moreno had a second chance to become the first Mexican-Born UFC champion and he didn’t want to waste it.

It was apparent from the opening moments that this fight would be different. Moreno was the one pushing forward and starting all the action. In the first round, Moreno actually dropped the flyweight champion.

After a good opening round, the second round was razor close with both men securing takedowns and top position. However, the third round at UFC 263 is where Moreno made history. After getting a takedown and taking the back of Figueiredo, Moreno locked in the rear-naked choke and became flyweight champion of the UFC.

What’s next after UFC 263?

With a couple of taps from Figueiredo at UFC 263, Brandon Moreno became a huge star. The promotion’s first champion that was born on Mexican soil. His journey is also what makes Brandon Moreno so special.

Moreno appeared on The Ultimate Fighter and he was the lowest seed. He lost very early in the tournament. After having some success to start his UFC career, Moreno was cut from the promotion and had to work his way back.

After dispatching some tough challenges, Moreno got his first shot in December. He came so close to losing the fight, but the draw gave him one more chance that he wasn’t going to let go to waste. Moreno took full advantage and became the UFC’s flyweight champion.

So, what’s next for Moreno? Well, the promotion could always do the trilogy with Figueiredo. Currently, the series is 1-0-1 and there is a market for the third fight. However, I’m not convinced that’s the direction the promotion will go in.

What I could see is the UFC giving the shot to Askar Askarov (14-0-1). The unbeated Dagestani flyweight has gone 3-0-1 since joining the UFC. That one draw is with Brandon Moreno. The two men have history and I could see that being next. Either way, Moreno’s first title defense is going to be massive.

Brandon Moreno submits Deiveson Figueiredo to become UFC flyweight champion

In the co-main event of UFC 263, we saw the flyweight title rematch from one of the fights of the year in 2020. The flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) was back to defend his title against top contender Brandon Moreno (18-5-2).

These two men first met back at UFC 256 in December. The two men went to war in an instant classic. Figueiredo started extremely fast looking for the finish, but Brandon Moreno was game. Moreno took the best shots from the champion and would fire right back.

Overall, Figueiredo was getting the better of Moreno ever so slightly in December. However, a massive kick that landed low cost Figueiredo a point. That one-point deduction took away a decision win for Figueiredo and made the fight a draw.

Since the two men fought to a draw, the UFC decided to run things back tonight. Heading into this fight, this was the favorite for fight of the night and given the first fight, it was easy to see why.

UFC 263 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 263 flyweight title fight started out with a touch of the gloves. Immediate pressure from Figueiredo to start the fight, but Moreno quickly takes the center of the octagon. Moreno lands the first strike with a big leg kick.

Jab lands for Moreno. Another leg kick for Brandon Moreno. Moreno pushes forward with a combination, and Figueiredo is just feeling things out early. Lead left hook for Brandon Moreno and he’s the one pressing things early.

Moreno pushes forward and lands again. Figueiredo lands his first shot and its a massive hook to the body. Moreno using a ton of volume here in the first. Figueiredo looks for a right hand, but nothing lands. Step-in elbow lands for Figueiredo.

Good combination lands for Brandon Moreno. The UFC champion lands a big leg kick, but Moreno is throwing way more here. Moreno drops Figueiredo as the champion was coming in and he settles into the champion’s guard. Big moment for the challenger here.

Figueiredo looks comfortable on his back as he looks to sweep. The champion gets back to his feet and Moreno pops him with a jab. Kick lands for Moreno and the round closes. Lopsided first round for the challenger at UFC 263.

Round 2

Entering the second round and all the momentum is with the challenger here. Figueiredo takes the center to start the second. Moreno hits Figueiredo clean with a left hand, but the champion gets a body lock.

Figueiredo lands the takedown and immediately starts to look for his top guillotine. Elbows to the body landing for the champion. Figueiredo looking to connect his hands here and lock in the submission. Moreno forces the scramble and he pushes Figueiredo against the fence.

Moreno lands a takedown of his own and he briefly has Figueiredo’s back. However, Figueiredo spins and gets it to full guard. Good elbows from the bottom lands for Figueiredo. Another solid elbow for Figueiredo lands from the bottom.

Figueiredo forces a scramble, but Moreno is able to hold the top position. The round comes to a close and it’s a close one. However, with the bottom work and early top control, I lean towards the champion in round 2 at UFC 263.

Round 3

Entering the third round it’s either tied or 2-0 Moreno at UFC 263. Moreno takes the center to start the third round. Body kick lands for Figueiredo. Spinning back kick and a jab lands for the champion. Leg kick lands for Moreno, but Figueiredo counters with a straight.

Tons of pressure from Brandon Moreno here. Moreno gets a takedown and spins to the back of the champion. Body triangle for Moreno and he’s close on a rear-naked choke. However, Figueiredo defends well, but he’s in trouble in the third.

Moreno softens Figueiredo with a couple of shots and slips in the choke even deeper. Figueiredo tries to fight it, but is forced to tap. Brandon Moreno is the first Mexican-Born UFC champion.

Brandon Moreno def. Deiveson Figueiredo by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

UFC 263 Preview: Deiveson Figueiredo – Brandon Moreno 2

In the co-main event of UFC 263, we will see a flyweight title rematch from one of the fights of the year in 2020. The flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) is back to defend his title against top contender Brandon Moreno (18-5-2).

These two men first met back at UFC 256 in December. In late November last year, Figueiredo successfully defended his title against Alex Perez. Figueiredo won quickly in the first round while taking no damage.

Earlier that evening, Brandon Moreno won in the first round as well. The UFC needed a headliner for their December PPV after the card had been hit by injuries. With both flyweights coming out of UFC 255 clean, the promotion turned them around and had them headline the December PPV.

The two men went to war in an instant classic. Figueiredo started extremely fast looking for the finish, but Brandon Moreno was game. Moreno took the best shots from the champion and would fire right back.

Overall, Figueiredo was getting the better of Moreno ever so slightly in December. However, a massive kick that landed low cost Figueiredo a point. That one-point deduction took away a decision win for Figueiredo and made the fight a draw.

Since the two men fought to a draw, the UFC decided to run things back tomorrow night. This is a popular pick for fight of the night and it’s easy to see why. I don’t see how these two are even capable of putting on a boring performance.

UFC 263 Prediction

The UFC 263 co-main event is going to be a sensational fight. I honestly can’t wait to watch this rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno. Now, going into the fight, Figueiredo should be a decent sized favorite.

I believe that both men fought well in December, but Moreno fought a lot closer to his potential than Figueiredo in my opinion. With Moreno fighting one of the best fights he could possibly fight, he still would have lost if it wasn’t for a low blow.

Not too mention that the UFC confirmed that Figueiredo spent the night before the fight in the hospital. The best Moreno still couldn’t beat Figueiredo when Figueiredo wasn’t at his best.

Ultimately, I just believe that Deiveson Figueiredo is the best flyweight in the world. I’m expecting these two to go to war again, but I think Figueiredo will find his finishing blow this time. I believe Figueiredo will become the first man to finish Brandon Moreno at UFC 263.

Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo by TKO – Round 3

Cody Garbrandt focused on becoming a two-division UFC champion

This weekend at UFC Vegas 27, former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt (12-3) returns in the main event. Garbrandt is taking on the surging contender Rob Font (18-4) in a pivotal matchup for the bantamweight division.

The last year has been really difficult for the former UFC champion. Garbrandt last fought at UFC 250 last June where he knocked out Raphael Assuncao in the second round with a savage right hand.

It was a massive win for Garbrandt who snapped a three-fight losing streak with that win. After the win, Garbrandt came out and said that he was going to drop to flyweight and challenge for the UFC‘s flyweight title.

The promotion booked him against the champion Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) at UFC 255. However, after a battle with COVID, Garbrandt had to pull out of the fight. Figueiredo ended up defeating Alex Perez that night and fought to a draw a few weeks later against Brandon Moreno (18-5-2).

At UFC 263, Figueiredo and Moreno will rematch after their first fight was scored a draw. That delayed Garbrandt’s chances at the flyweight title and as a result, he decided to stay at bantamweight to fight Rob Font.

The former UFC champion now finds himself in a unique spot. If he wins on Saturday, he could be one of the first in line to fight for the bantamweight title. However, he also could be the next in line for the flyweight title after UFC 263.

Garbrandt’s two-division UFC dream

In speaking to the media this week prior to UFC Vegas 27, Garbrandt made it clear that he sees two titles in his future. He laid out a scenario in which he can become a two-division champion in the next year.

Garbrandt pointed out the fact that if he wins Saturday and the winner of Figueiredo/Moreno comes out clean, he could fight the winner in a few months. That would be his chance to capture the UFC flyweight title.

If that were to happen, Garbrandt could then move back up to challenge the bantamweight champion. Champion Aljamain Sterling (20-3) and Petr Yan (15-2) are expected to rematch in the fall after Sterling won the title by DQ at UFC 259.

TJ Dillashaw and Cory Sandhagen are fighting in July and the winner of that matchup might be next. However, Garbrandt could be the second in line after Sandhagen/Dillashaw.

If “No Love” wins at UFC Vegas 27 then drops down to become the flyweight champion, he very well could fight for the bantamweight title next year. It’s a steep ask, but Garbrandt seems up to the challenge. You can see his full pre-fight media scrum below.

UFC officially books the rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno

The UFC has finalized a highly anticipated rematch for the flyweight title. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was the first to report this morning that the promotion has finalized the rematch between Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) and Brandon Moreno (18-5-2).

According to Helwani, the matchup will take place on June 12th at UFC 263. Moreno had said that he wanted to fight in either April or May, but the UFC flyweight champion wanted a little more time before the rematch.

Heading into UFC 256, nobody was really giving Brandon Moreno a shot. Moreno was definitely the top contender in the division, but Figueiredo looked like an unstoppable champion. Both Figueiredo and Moreno also competed at UFC 255 three weeks prior to their first fight.

Moreno was able to stop Brandon Royval in the first round and Figueiredo was able to submit Alex Perez in the first round. Originally, fight fans wanted Moreno to be the challenger at UFC 255 over Alex Perez. Well, the performances of both men allowed the promotion to turn them around quickly for the fight we wanted.

Again, Moreno was a pretty lofty underdog considering the way that Figueiredo had looked. However, he proved at UFC 256 that he was no pushover. Moreno pushed Figueiredo harder than anyone thought he could. In what turned out to be a Fight of the Year candidate, the two men fought to a draw.

UFC rematch we had to see

As mentioned, Figueiredo looked like he was going to be a massive problem for all UFC flyweights. The combination of power, skill, and confidence made him extremely dangerous and he almost looked invincible.

However, Brandon Moreno showed the world that he could be pushed. In a way, their first fight reminded me of Jon Jones – Alexander Gustafsson 1. A champion that looked unstoppable, but the right opponent pushed him to the limit.

All great UFC champions need that dance partner that pushes them to even further greatness. Figueiredo has that in Brandon Moreno. If Figueiredo is able to defeat Moreno in the rematch, it will just further his legacy and shine a greater light on his greatness.

However, Brandon Moreno also has the opportunity to prove that the first fight wasn’t a fluke. Both men have a lot on the line in June and fight fans should be expecting a war between the two men when they meet again.

What’s next for Alexandre Pantoja after big win at UFC Vegas 18?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 18, we saw a big matchup in the flyweight division. The fifth ranked flyweight in the world, Alexandre Pantoja (23-5), welcomed former RIZIN champion, Manel Kape (15-5), to the UFC.

There was a ton of hype surrounding Kape and many were looking at him as a potential challenger for the title. However, the UFC gave him no layup in his first fight with him taking on the dangerous Pantoja.

Pantoja has been in there with some of the best in the UFC including the flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1). The fight was promised to deliver and I have to say that it was a little underwhelming.

I was expecting more of a barnburner, but Kape’s cautious approach stalled the action at times. Pantoja didn’t land amazing shots at UFC Vegas 18, however, he was the much more active fighter on Saturday night.

For that reason, the judges unanimously gave the decision win to Alexandre Pantoja. While it wasn’t the sexiest win in the world, it was still a win at the end of the day and a big win at that.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 18?

After the fight was over, Pantoja stated that he wanted a rematch with the UFC’s flyweight champion. However, the odds of Pantoja fighting for the title in his next fight are slim to none.

Figueiredo will have his rematch against Brandon Moreno (18-5-2) next. After that fight, it’s been said that the winner will take on former UFC bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt (12-3). With that in mind, the title is booked for most of 2021.

Of course, that means Pantoja will need to take another fight. There are a couple of options for Pantoja out there. One option could be a matchup with Alex Perez (24-6). Perez is coming off of a title loss at UFC 255.

Another option could be the winner of the Joseph Benavidez – Askar Askarov matchup that takes place next month. However, I’m not sure that fight would get made should Askarov win considering Askerov just beat Pantoja in July.

UFC: Cody Garbrandt wants Jose Aldo in April before flyweight title shot

One of the best highlight reel knockouts of 2020 came back at UFC 250. That night, Cody Garbrandt (12-3) unleashed a vicious right hook in the final seconds of the first round to completely flatten Raphael Assuncao.

The former UFC bantamweight champion picked up his first win since December of 2016 with that knockout. Prior to that victory, he had been knocked out in three straight fights.

After Garbrandt won, he was moved up to third in the bantamweight rankings. However, he wanted to drop down to 125 pounds and fight at flyweight. He had his eyes set on the newly crowned flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1).

The UFC booked their title fight for November. However, due to injuries and a battle with COVID, Garbrandt had to pull out of the fight. Garbrandt has been healing on the sidelines while awaiting his flyweight title opportunity.

The former bantamweight champion was all set to take on the winner of the UFC 256 headliner between Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno (18-5-2). However, the two men fought to a draw and the UFC is going to give Moreno an immediate rematch.

Garbrandt is ready for another fight, however, if he wants to wait for a flyweight title shot, he won’t fight until late in the summer. Instead, Garbrandt has his eyes on a big fight at bantamweight while he waits.

Will the UFC book Garbrandt – Aldo?

Cody Garbrandt told ESPN this week that the fight that he wants is Jose Aldo (29-7). He pointed out the fact that at this stage he only wants to fight big names if he’s not getting a title shot. His desire to remain active is why he’s wanting to fight again at bantamweight.

Aldo is coming off of a win in December over Chito Vera. The win snapped a three-fight losing streak for Aldo. Aldo has looked rejuvenated since dropping down to bantamweight in late 2019.

Currently, both men are ranked in the top six of the division. Aldo has been calling out TJ Dillashaw (16-4), however, there’s no traction on that fight at the moment. Garbrandt also told ESPN that he wants to fight a “clean” TJ Dillashaw.

No Love made it very clear that he still intends on dropping to 125 pounds when he’s presented with the title shot. The desire to fight Aldo just stems from remaining active and getting to fight a big name. Personally, I love the matchup if the UFC can get it done.

UFC: If Henry Cejudo returns in 2021, who will he fight?

UFC, Henry Cejudo

At UFC 249 in May of last year, Henry Cejudo (16-2) successfully defended his bantamweight title when he stopped Dominick Cruz (22-3). The fight capped off an incredible three-year run for Cejudo.

Cejudo lost a split decision to Joseph Benavidez (28-7) in December of 2016. However, after that loss, Cejudo would not lose again in the UFC. He climbed to the top of the flyweight division where he was the first flyweight to defeat Demetrious Johnson (30-3-1).

From there, he defeated TJ Dillashaw (16-4) before moving up to bantamweight. At bantamweight he stopped Marlon Moraes (23-8-1) to capture the title before of course stopping Cruz at UFC 249.

After the fight was over, Cejudo said that he was walking away on top. At just 33 years old, Cejudo seemed comfortable with his decision to retire. However, he’s been constantly active on social media over the last few months.

Cejudo doesn’t talk like someone who’s fought his last fight in the UFC. He’s hinted at returning to the octagon at some point and perhaps 2021 is the year. So if Cejudo does return, who should he fight?

Who would the UFC pair him with?

The fight that Cejudo really wants is a fight with the UFC’s featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski (22-1). Fighting Volkanovski would give Cejudo the chance to do something truly remarkable.

Cejudo is already an Olympic Gold Medalist and a two-division UFC champion. However, if he were to fight and defeat Volkanovski, he would become the first fighter in the promotion’s history to have held a title in three divisions.

However, given the landscape of featherweight, I think this is unlikely. Volkanovski has a big challenge in front of him in Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). After Ortega, there is a plethora of top contenders waiting.

I can’t imagine the UFC giving Cejudo that fight because I don’t think he would commit to defending that title. I believe if he moved up for that fight it would be a one and done type of situation.

Now, if Volkanovski clears out the division over the next year or two, then I could see the UFC doing it. However, that division is too fluid right now to have a one and done type of title fight.

The same situation could be said about bantamweight. Petr Yan (15-1) and Aljamain Sterling (19-3) are getting ready to fight for that title. Bantamweight is one of the more stacked divisions in the UFC. I can’t see them letting Cejudo hold up the division.

Return to flyweight or a catchweight?

Of course that leaves flyweight and Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1). To me, this is the most likely fight as things currently stand. Figueiredo is set to have a rematch with Brandon Moreno (18-5-2) followed by a fight with Cody Garbrandt (12-3) should he beat Moreno.

If Figueiredo wins both of those fights, I could see the UFC pairing him up against Cejudo in a one-off fight. It would be a massive fight for Figueiredo who the UFC is putting a lot of stock into. They’ve already had some fun back and forth which could fuel the potential fight.

As you can see, there are a number of options across three divisions. If Cejudo commits to coming back and competing more than once, any of the divisions are a possibility. However, if it’s just a one-time deal it will likely be against the flyweight champion of the world.