Who will be the UFC champions after 2021? (Flyweight – Lightweight)

Conor McGregor, UFC

2021 is already looking like an incredibly exciting year for the UFC. After a big year despite the pandemic in 2020, the promotion is riding a wave of momentum that should carry them to a huge year in 2021.

2020 was remarkable in the sense that no UFC champion lost their title inside the octagon. Sure, there were titles that were vacated, however, if a champion made the walk to the cage as a champion, they left as a champion.

We might never see another year like that in the UFC. With how good the competition levels are, every year you’re virtually guaranteed to see at least one champion lose their title. We should expect this in 2021.

Earlier this week, we posted an article on which UFC champions would likely lose their titles in 2021. However, I wanted to dive a little more in-depth and make predictions on who exactly I believe will leave 2021 a champion.

In this article we will go through the lower men’s divisions starting with flyweight. We will continue to go through the rest of the divisions and the women’s divisions throughout the week. So, who will walk out of 2021 a UFC champion?

UFC Champions after 2021

Flyweight – Deiveson Figueiredo

The first division we will look at features the 2020 UFC fighter of the year, Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1). Figueiredo captured the flyweight title this year after it was vacated by Henry Cejudo in late 2019.

He captured the title after dominating Joseph Benavidez twice. From there he defended his title against Alex Perez before running into Brandon Moreno (18-5-2). Moreno and Figueiredo fought to a draw at UFC 256.

Their fight was a fight of the year candidate. A back and forth war that ultimately saw the hands of both men raised. The UFC is planning on them rematching at some point in either April or May.

I believe that Figueiredo will win that rematch. From there, I’m expecting Figueiredo to face former bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt (12-3). I also believe that Figueiredo will turn away Garbrandt on his request to capture another UFC title.

That might be the only two times we see Figueiredo in 2021. I believe that the Moreno fight is going to be another war which might cause him to take some time off. Expect the Garbrandt fight in the second half of the year. Two tough fights might be it for Figueiredo.

Bantamweight – Aljamain Sterling

I believe that we are going to see a new UFC bantamweight champion in 2021 and his name is Aljamain Sterling (19-3). Sterling is currently waiting on his title shot against bantamweight champion, Petr Yan (15-1).

I’ll start by saying that I believe Petr Yan is incredible. If I was told that he will go through 2021 and remain the champion, I wouldn’t be shocked at all. However, I just have this feeling about Sterling.

Sterling has really showed me a lot over his last five performance. His striking is looking so much better and he’s incredibly slick on the ground. His domination of Cory Sandhagen was jaw dropping.

These two bantamweights are so good and I’m anxious for the UFC to book the title fight between the two. The bantamweight division is insanely stacked, but in my heart, I believe that Sterling is the best of the bunch right now.

Featherweight – Brian Ortega

Back in October, I believe we saw the best featherweight in the UFC compete. His name is Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). Ortega fought for the first time in almost two years against The Korean Zombie.

I picked Ortega to lose because the Brian Ortega who fought Max Holloway in 2018 wouldn’t have outstruck Chan Sung Jung. However, the Brian Ortega we saw in October on Fight Island looked like a completely different fighter.

T-City showed incredible striking that night beating up TKZ. We already know the skills he possesses on the mat so there were just questions on if his striking could get to that same level. I believe that they have.

Ortega will be taking on Alexander Volkanovski (22-1) in the first part of this year for the featherweight title. I believe this is a perfect fight for Ortega when it comes to the style. His rangy striking along with his grappling skills should create problems for Volkanovski.

I’m expecting Brian Ortega to get his hand raised when the two men fight. Expect Brian Ortega to hold onto that UFC title once he gets his hands on it. T-City is a problem and he’s just getting better.

Lightweight – Conor McGregor

I can already feel a portion of the UFC fan base rolling their eyes reading that. Yes, I believe that Conor McGregor (22-4) is going to leave 2021 as the UFC lightweight champion. There is plenty of reasoning behind this.

First and foremost, I believe that McGregor is going to defeat Dustin Poirier (26-6, 1 NC) at UFC 257. McGregor’s next fight after that will be for the lightweight championship. Likely coming against Justin Gaethje or Charles Oliveira. 

Let’s say that McGregor fight’s Justin Gaethje (22-3). I really like McGregor’s chances in that matchup. While we’ve seen such good performances from Gaethje, I think McGregor’s clean straight striking would give him a lot of problems.

I only see McGregor fighting twice at lightweight in 2021 which is why I believe he will be the champion. However, should Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0) not retire, I believe Nurmagomedov will leave 2021 the champion.

The toughest test for McGregor in 2021 will be Charles Oliveira (30-9, 1 NC). Based on what we’ve seen from Oliveira lately, that is a very tough matchup for McGregor.

However, I still believe in the end, McGregor is the second best lightweight in the world only behind Nurmagomedov. If there’s no Khabib, then lightweight will see the second title reign of The Notorious Conor McGregor in 2021.

UFC: State of the men’s flyweight division entering 2021

2020 was a transition year for the UFC‘s flyweight division. When the year got started, Henry Cejudo (16-2) had just vacated the flyweight title. The promotion setup a fight in February to crown a new champion after Cejudo moved to bantamweight.

That fight put Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) against Joseph Benavidez (28-7). Benavidez was always looked at as one of the best fighters in the UFC, but he just could never quite climb the mountain to become a champion.

Many believed that February would be his best chance. However, Figueiredo proved to be too much for Benavidez. Benavidez was completely dominated and stopped in the second round by Figueiredo.

However, Figueiredo missed weight so he didn’t capture the title. The UFC decided to have the two men run things back on Fight Island. This time, Figueiredo made weight and he ended up finishing Benavidez quicker than he did the first time.

Figueiredo has become a star in the UFC‘s flyweight division. After he choked out Benavidez, he defended his title against Alex Perez (24-6) at UFC 255. Figueiredo forced Perez to tap within the first two minutes of the fight.

With taking such little damage, the UFC turned Figueiredo right around to fight Brandon Moreno (18-5-2) at UFC 256. The two men had a war and the fight was ultimately ruled a majority draw.

UFC flyweight in 2021

Dana White said shortly after UFC 256 that the promotion would have Figueiredo and Moreno run things back. The fight was a fight of the year candidate and with no winner declared, he said it make sense to do the rematch.

With that, the odd man out becomes Cody Garbrandt (12-3). The former UFC bantamweight champion decided to drop to flyweight to pursue another title. He was originally supposed to get the title shot at UFC 255.

However, he had to pull out of the fight. He was hoping to face the Figueiredo – Moreno winner in March, however, that’s not likely now. Garbrandt and his team have discussed taking an interim fight at bantamweight while he waits, but that’s not settled.

A very compelling matchup to watch at flyweight is Manel Kape (15-4) and Alexandre Pantoja (22-5). Kape is the former RIZIN champion at 135 pounds and he will be making his UFC debut against Pantoja on February 6th.

Whoever wins that fight will be in excellent position in the flyweight division. Another matchup to watch is Benavidez taking on Askar Askarov (12-0-1). Askarov trains under Khabib Nurmagomedov and he looks like he can be a future champion.

At one point, the UFC’s flyweight division looked like it was going to be closed for business. However, business is booming at the moment with a number of intriguing matchups. Should be a fun year for the promotion at 125 pounds.

2020 UFC Fighter of the Year

The UFC has officially completed all of their business in this crazy 2020. Despite a global pandemic, the promotion had an incredible year that saw tremendous growth and new fans coming to the sport of MMA.

The UFC hosted many successful events and saw a number of fighters burst onto the scene in 2020. One of those fighters being the rising superstar, Khamzat Chimaev (9-0). Chimaev made his debut with the UFC back in July.

He rose to fame with his incredible dominance through his first three fights. In his first three fights with the UFC, Chimaev has scored finishes in all three while absorbing just a few strikes total.

He’s been catapulted into a main event on January 20th in a fight that could be a title eliminator. While Chimaev’s UFC rise has been remarkable, he’s not quite the fighter of the year in my opinion.

Another fighter who broke through this year was Kevin Holland (21-5). After losing his last fight in 2019, Holland completely transformed himself in 2020. Holland had arguably the best year out of anybody with the promotion.

He went an astonishing 5-0 with four finishes in 2020. Even more remarkable was the fact that he didn’t fight for the first time until May. However, despite his incredible year, Holland was not ESM’s UFC Fighter of the Year.

2020 UFC Fighter of the Year

Looking at everything for 2020, the UFC‘s Fighter of the Year was a clear choice for me. That clear choice is the flyweight champion of the world, Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1). Figueiredo started out 2020 as the top contender at flyweight.

Back in February, he took on Joseph Benavidez for the vacant UFC flyweight title. However, Figueiredo missed weight for the fight which caused him to lose his opportunity to capture the belt. Yet, the fight still went on.

Figueiredo was completely dominant and he won the fight by second round knockout. In July, Figueiredo had a rematch for Benavidez for the UFC title. This time Figueiredo made weight and he stopped Benavidez in the first round to capture the title.

Looking to close out the year strong, Figueiredo was booked to defend his title against Alex Perez at UFC 255. Figueiredo submitted Perez in less than two minutes to successfully defend his title.

Because of his quick work, the UFC turned him around quickly to headline UFC 256 against Brandon Moreno. The two had an absolute war that was a fight of the year candidate. In the end, the two men fought to a draw.

Granted, Figueiredo would have won had he not been docked a point at UFC 256. It was later revealed that Figueiredo had spent time in the hospital the night before his title fight against Moreno.

Yes, his record was not technically perfect, but Deiveson Figueiredo is the clear Fighter of the Year. Four sensational performances in essentially four title fights. Figueiredo emerged as the superstar flyweight needed in 2020 for the UFC.

2020 UFC Fight of the Year

It’s been a crazy year for the world and a crazy year for the UFC. The promotion started on a high note back in January when Conor McGregor headlined a card that sold over one million PPVs. The promotion was off and running.

However, in March, production had to be shutdown by the UFC due to the global pandemic. COVID-19 shut the entire world down and the UFC was no exception. However, the promotion worked hard to get back on track.

After just over a month off, the UFC was back open for business in May. They were the first professional sport league to come back in full force and they delivered. Despite the lack of live crowds, the fighters delivered all the way since May.

There have been so many incredible fights this year inside the octagon. One of the fights that was on the shortlist for fight of the year was Josh Emmett (16-2) and Shane Burgos (13-2) from back in June.

This was a featherweight shootout where both men were trading serious shots back and forth. Both are extremely powerful and Burgos was able to holdup and survive the ungodly power from Josh Emmett.

Another candidate just took place at UFC 256. The flyweight title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) and Brandon Moreno (18-5-2). An absolute back-and-forth war between the two best flyweights in the world that resulted in a draw.

All year long, I believed that one fight in particular would be the UFC‘s fight of the year. However, the Figueiredo – Moreno fight made me start hedging my bets. However, in the end, I’m sticking to the one fight that I think truly deserves to be the fight of the year.

UFC’s Fight of the Year

In a crazy 2020, the UFC‘s Fight of the Year has to be the strawweight title fight between Weili Zhang (21-1) and Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4). This title fight took place at UFC 248 which was the last PPV event with fans in 2020.

The fans that were in attendance that night should thank their lucky stars they got to witness this fight in person. This UFC strawweight title fight had it all and it was such a perfect fight for that division.

In Jedrzejczyk, you had the greatest strawweight in UFC history. In Zhang, you had the new champion who appeared to be a force that would become the greatest strawweight in the promotions history.

What ensued was a back-and-forth high level war over five rounds. These two ladies didn’t stop the entire time. The pace was incredible and the technique from both of these fighters was just perfect.

They both hurt each other numerous times throughout the fight. After the fight was over, Jedrzejczyk was not even recognizable. Ultimately, Zhang walked away retaining her UFC title after a hard fought five rounds.

In a year that has truly been remarkable, this fight stands out to me as the most remarkable. If you haven’t had a chance to watch this fight, I would suggest trying anyway you can to sitting down and watching this classic from UFC 248. You won’t regret it.

Will we see Henry Cejudo return to the UFC in 2021?

UFC, Henry Cejudo

One of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC walked away from the sport in his prime in 2020. That fighter would be the former two-division world champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Henry Cejudo (16-2).

We last saw Henry Cejudo compete at UFC 249 where he defended his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz. Cejudo executed a perfect game plan that night and went on to finish Cruz in the second round to retain his title.

After the fight was over, Cejudo was interviewed by Joe Rogan inside the octagon. It was at that moment where the two-division UFC champion announced that he would be walking away from the sport at 33 years old.

It was a shocking announcement for most considering Cejudo’s stature in the sport. Cejudo had just capped off a four-fight run where he defeated Demetrious Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, Marlon Moraes, and Dominick Cruz in UFC title fights.

“Triple C” appeared to be just starting out his reign of dominance as he decided to walk away. However, it wasn’t the first time Cejudo walked away on top. He also walked away from wrestling after winning his gold medal.

Yet, there has been rumblings about Cejudo’s desire to compete in the UFC again. Cejudo has stayed extremely active online calling fighters out and expressing his desire to fight. Most recently, Cejudo posted a music video talking about it being his next walkout song. 

Will Cejudo return to the UFC?

Earlier this year, Cejudo appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience where he said he would love to come out of retirement if the fight was right. The one fight he said he wanted was Alexander Volkanovski.

The UFC‘s featherweight champion is tentatively scheduled to defend his title against Brian Ortega in Q1 2021. However, Cejudo talked about his desire to capture a title in a third weight class which has never been done in the UFC.

In my personal opinion, I think there’s too many opportunities inside the cage for Cejudo to stay away. This upcoming year Cejudo will just be turning 34 years old. There are many fights that could bring the former champion out of retirement.

A featherweight title fight could bring him out but also a fight with UFC flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo, could bring him out of retirement. I would put the odds at 50/50 that we see Cejudo in 2021. The odds are even higher for seeing him to return to the UFC at some point.

UFC: What’s next for Cody Garbrandt?

Former UFC bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt (12-3), is still waiting to make his debut in the flyweight division. The former champion made a successful return to the octagon in June when he knocked out Ralphael Assuncao.

That fight took place at bantamweight, but it was announced shortly after that Garbrandt would be dropping down to flyweight. After Deiveson Figueiredo won the flyweight title in July, the UFC booked the two up for a title fight.

Originally, Garbrandt was set to face Figueiredo at UFC 255 in November. However, Garbrandt tore his bicep and he’s been dealing with lengthy symptoms from COVID. As a result, Alex Perez got the shot against Figueiredo.

Of course, Figueiredo was able to win by first round submission. The champion quickly turned around to fight Brandon Moreno at UFC 256. The two had a fight of the year candidate that resulted in a draw.

After the fight was over, Dana White announced that the UFC would be booking the rematch between the two. Garbrandt said on Twitter that he’d be ready to fight by March. However, it now appears that he won’t be getting a title shot next.

What does the UFC do with Garbrandt?

If Cody Garbrandt wants a UFC flyweight title shot in his divisional debut, he’s going to be waiting a while. After the war that Figueiredo and Moreno had at UFC 256, I think it’s safe to say that fight won’t happen until April or May.

With that timeline, Garbrandt would have to sit out over a year in between fights. I think the smart thing would be for him to take a fight at flyweight in the meantime. He’s never fought at 125 so taking a fight would allow him to go through the process and get his feet wet.

There are a couple of fights that would be fun for Garbrandt in the UFC‘s flyweight division. One fight that I would personally love to see is Garbrandt against Manel Kape (15-4). Kape was the backup at UFC 256 after his fight with Alexandre Pantoja fell through.

Kape is one of the best in the world at 125 pounds. A fight between those two would be a lot of fun. The UFC could also pair Garbrandt against Alex Perez (24-6) who just lost in the title fight at UFC 255.

No matter what they decide to do, I think the promotion needs to give Garbrandt a flyweight fight. Let him make the weight and get a win in the division as opposed to shelving him and waiting for the title shot.

Did illness prevent a Figueiredo finish at UFC 256?

This past Saturday at UFC 256, we were treated to an incredible flyweight title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) and Brandon Moreno (18-5-2). The two men engaged in an absolute war where neither man would back down.

Going into UFC 256, many people thought Moreno didn’t have much of a chance to win. The general thought was that he would be tougher than Alex Perez was for the champion, but Figueiredo should have been able to win pretty easily.

It was evident in the first few rounds that wasn’t going to be the case. Figueiredo dominated the first round of the fight for the most part blasting Moreno with massive shots. However, nothing appeared to seriously damage the challenger.

The UFC champion seemed focused but almost perplexed at times that Moreno wouldn’t go down. Throughout the fight there were momentum swings, but in the end, I had it 3-2 for Figueiredo on my scorecard.

However, with Figueiredo being docked a point, I had the UFC 256 main event a draw. Ultimately that is how the fight was called when two of the three judges scored it a draw while one still gave it to Figueiredo.

Hospital trip’s impact at UFC 256

After the fight was over, Figueiredo said in his post-fight interview that he had to go to the hospital the night prior to UFC 256 with stomach issues. He said that he didn’t feel 100%, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him.

This week, the champion expanded on that again saying through his manager that he would have finished Moreno at UFC 256. Figueiredo said to ESPN, “If I’m not sick, I knock him out or submit him in the first round, that’s a promise.”

The UFC champion has looked like a destroyer in 2020. However, this fight really shined a light on the fact that he can dig down deep and pull out a fight in the championship rounds. An important fight for a champion to go through.

However, it’s clear that he’s not happy with the performance. In all reality, I thought Figueiredo looked great on Saturday night. I just believe that Moreno is that tough and was able to take his shots.

Now, Figueiredo’s hospital trip and sickness could have played down his cardio. However, his weight cut could have also hurt his cardio. Either way, something depleted his gas tank a little.

Would that have changed the outcome? Maybe not considering he looked pretty fresh in the first round of their fight. I just believe that Moreno is tough as hell and wasn’t going to budge on Saturday night.

Brandon Moreno’s incredible journey culminated at UFC 256

This past Saturday at UFC 256, we got to witness the arguably greatest flyweight title fight in the history of the division. Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) and Brandon Moreno (18-5-2) went to war over five rounds.

Many people, including myself, believed that Moreno was a little out of his league entering UFC 256. I figured that Moreno would be more competitive than Alex Perez, but I didn’t think he would seriously challenge the champion, Figueiredo.

Boy was I wrong about that one. It was evident from the opening bell that Moreno was going to push the champion like no one has before. Figueiredo threw everything he had at Brandon Moreno at UFC 256.

Moreno ate power shots from the champion and just kept coming forward. He even took a massive shot to the groin which saw Figueiredo be docked a point which proved to be vital in the outcome of the fight.

Despite all of this, Moreno wouldn’t stop fighting at UFC 256. He kept pushing forward and throwing his own combinations. There were a couple of times throughout the fight where Figueiredo looked hurt and dejected because Moreno wouldn’t go away.

Moreno was searching to become the first Mexican born UFC champion on Saturday night. He fought with the Mexican warrior spirit on Saturday. In the end, the fight ended in a draw, but Moreno proved that he belonged.

Moreno’s UFC Journey

It’s been quite the journey for the UFC’s top flyweight contender. Back in 2016, Moreno was the lowest seed on The Ultimate Fighter’s 24th season. He was finished by Alexandre Pantoja in his first fight on the show.

He made his way into the UFC but was cut after he lost two consecutive fights. Moreno then went to LFA where he finished Maikel Perez which earned him a shot back into the big show.

After fighting Askar Askarov to a draw in his first fight back, Moreno went on to win three straight to earn himself the shot at UFC 256. Despite not getting his hand raised on Saturday, it was a shining moment for the flyweight that hails from Tijuana.

Dana White said after UFC 256 that Moreno would get a rematch with Figueiredo in 2021. Moreno has some work to do if he’s going to beat the champion. Had Figueiredo not been deducted a point, he would have won on Saturday.

Moreno is going to have to go back to the drawing board to figure out a game plan on how he can dethrone the flyweight king. It’s not going to be an easy thing to do, but if anyone’s capable of pulling it off, it’s Brandon Moreno.

Dana White says there will be an immediate rematch after UFC 256

UFC, Dana White

We got to witness arguably the greatest flyweight fight in the history of the division at UFC 256. Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1) and Brandon Moreno (18-5-2) fought to a draw in what was an absolute war.

The champion, Figueiredo, was looked at as unstoppable heading into UFC 256. Figueiredo had looked like a destroyer and it was hard to imagine anyone giving him a tough fight at 125 pounds.

However, that didn’t intimidate Brandon Moreno at all. Moreno was willing to accept the challenge and he wasn’t going to back away no matter what the champion threw at him. The UFC champion threw everything he had at Moreno and Moreno wouldn’t back down.

The fight between the two men was an instant classic and might be the UFC‘s fight of the year. The fight saw Figueiredo land some incredibly big power shots, but Moreno kept coming despite them.

Moreno came on really strong in the middle rounds of the fight. In the middle of all of this, Figueiredo landed an accidental groin shot which put Moreno down for a few minutes. The referee took a point from the UFC champion and the two fought on.

I had the fight 2-2 going into the final round. Figueiredo really came on strong in the fifth round and I had it 3-2. However, the point made it a draw and that is how the judges ended up scoring the fight.

UFC President wants the rematch

After the fight was over, Dana White took to the podium at the post-fight press conference to give his thoughts. He said that there will definitely be a rematch between Figueiredo and Moreno after UFC 256.

It makes complete sense for the promotion given the way the fight went down and the result. Not only was the fight a classic, but we got no clarity because of the draw. Granted, most believe Figueiredo won three of the five rounds.

Nevertheless, Moreno had an incredible performance. There were not many out there that believed he could hang with the UFC champion. He proved tonight he can and it looks like were going to get an immediate rematch to see if he can do it again.

Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno fight to a draw at UFC 256

In the main event of UFC 256 we had a flyweight title fight between the champion, Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1), and the challenger, Brandon Moreno (18-5-1). Both of these men just won three weeks ago at UFC 255.

It’s been quite the 2020 for the flyweight champion. Back in February, Figueiredo was able to stop Joseph Benavidez. However, since he missed weight, he didn’t walk away with the UFC flyweight title.

Instead, the two men rematched in July. This time, Figueiredo finished Benavidez even fast than he did the first time. After claiming the title in July, Figueiredo defended at UFC 255 against Alex Perez. Figueiredo submitted Perez early in the first round.

Brandon Moreno also competed and won at UFC 255. Moreno is the top flyweight contender, yet he was passed over for the title shot three weeks ago. However, Dana White wanted him to get this shot at the title.

Moreno has been looked at as a future champion by many in the business. He has a habit of rising to the occasion and he was looking to become the first Mexican born UFC champion in the promotions history tonight.

UFC 256 Recap

Round 1

The main event of UFC 256 opened up with Figueiredo throwing a spinning back kick to the body. Figueiredo then threw a left hook that seemed to wobble Moreno right away. The UFC champ shot in for a takedown, however, Moreno defended nicely.

After a scramble, both men ended up back on their feet. Figueiredo was carrying his hands low just stalking the challenger. Moreno was doing a good job of landing stiff jabs as Figueiredo was moving forward.

Figueiredo appeared to be trying to time a big shot. Moreno was doing a good job of keeping his hands high. Figueiredo appeared to have no respect for Moreno’s power. The UFC champ appeared to sting Moreno again with an overhand right.

Moreno seemed to recover well and quickly. However, Figueiredo was just plotting forward. Moreno started to open up in the final minute of the round and Figueiredo appeared to be tiring a little. Good moments from the challenger but a clear first round for the champion.

Round 2

Moreno opened the second round throwing a couple of big hooks. The UFC champion appeared to be taking his time a little more in the second. Figueiredo threw a big spinning back kick, but Moreno countered nicely with a few big shots.

Moreno was getting confident in the second round with his striking. However, Figueiredo landed a few massive shots in tight. Somehow, Moreno made it through the barrage. Moreno was able to land a takedown.

Once on the ground, Figueiredo started to throw some elbows. A scramble found the two back on their feet. The two then just started trading power shots in the pocket. Moreno was willing to stand right in the fire with the UFC champion.

Figueiredo jumped forward with a massive left hook that Moreno just ate. Moreno stepped in with a right of his own that seemed to stun the champion. Figueiredo landed a few big shots, but Moreno was able to land a takedown.

Figueiredo scrambled and the two went back to trading. Second round comes to a close and I don’t know how to call that one. I lean slightly towards the challenger in the second with the takedowns.

Round 3

The third round opened with both men landing jabs. The UFC champion threw a couple of clean and powerful hooks, but Moreno just ate them. Figueiredo then landed a massive shot to the body.

Figueiredo followed up with more shots and Moreno was hurting to the body. Moreno appeared to be feeling some of the damage early in the third round. Moreno was able to clinch and catch his breath two minutes in.

The two separated and the UFC champion went right back to stalking Moreno. Moreno landed a clean jab, but Figueiredo countered with a clean left of his own. Figueiredo landed two clean left hooks and Moreno just ate them again.

A massive kick landed low on Moreno and the action came to a halt. The referee decided to take a point away from the UFC champion and the action resumed. Both men seemed a little refreshed after the break.

Figueiredo shot in for a takedown with one minute left in the round and got it. However, Moreno was able to get back up. The round comes to a close and I leaned towards the champion, but with the point deduction I have it a draw.

Round 4

The fourth round opened with the UFC champion throwing a flying knee. Figueiredo then staggered Moreno with a stiff jab. Moreno was getting popped over and over with the jab in the opening minute.

However, Moreno then started landing big combinations of his own. A flush right hook landed for Moreno then a high kick that wobbled Figueiredo. 90 seconds into the round and Moreno was able to land a takedown.

Figueiredo worked his way up to the feet and landed a clean combination of his own. The UFC champion then started to land very clean when the two were on the feet. Halfway through the round and Moreno appeared to rock Figueiredo.

However, Figueiredo started throwing back big shots of his own. Moreno was caught with a flush right hand, but then he landed one of his own. Figueiredo landed some massive shots and Moreno shot in and landed another takedown.

Figueiredo started throwing big elbows from the ground while Moreno was just laying there. A scramble brought the fight to the feet and Moreno was able to land some big shots. I give the round to Moreno. 2-2 on my scorecard.

Round 5

The final round opened with the UFC champion plotting forward again. 30 seconds in and the first shot is landed by the champion. Figueiredo landed a few really clean body kicks, but then Moreno started pressing forward.

Figueiredo appeared to be looking for big shots while Moreno was plotting forward. The UFC champion landed a couple of really clean shots on Moreno. Moreno wasn’t throwing much in the final round.

Halfway through the round and Figueiredo was controlling the striking. Moreno appeared to have a hurt arm and he wasn’t throwing any left hands. Figueiredo landed a big right hand, but again, Moreno just ate it.

90 seconds left in the fight and Figueiredo landed a nice combination. A good low kick landed from the champion. A minute left and the UFC champion landed another clean shot. However, Moreno landed a good hook of his own.

Under a minute left and Moreno went for a takedown. However, Figueiredo defended well. Figueiredo throws Moreno to the ground and lands some massive shots as the fight comes to a close. I score the fight 47-47 with the point deduction.

Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno fight to a Majority Draw (47-46, 47-47, 47-47)