Anaheim, CA – For the third time in as many fights, Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo faced off at UFC 270 on Saturday.
This time out, things were a little different. It was Moreno who was the defending champ; he’d submitted Figueiredo to win gold in their second meeting, after the pair’s first fight ended in a draw.
Figueiredo had also begun working with a new team: Henry Cejudo’s Fight Ready. That added a new wrinkle beyond just fight prep, as Moreno and Cejudo were former friends whose falling out began with a snub on The Ultimate Fighter— coach Cejudo failed to pick his buddy first, leading to Moreno working under rival Joseph Benavidez.
All that would be forgotten by the time the cage door closed, of course.
Round 1 showed that both men had studied each other extensively before this bout. That happens when you’re about to complete a trilogy. Figueiredo worked the calf kicks and leg kicks repeatedly while Moreno worked right hands including one that may have hurt Figueiredo. At one point Moreno did hurt his opponent but wasn’t able to finish the bout there. Moreno stayed very patient throughout the round.
Round 2 brought more of the same except Moreno was showing a lot more power, that had Figueiredo diving for a single leg but doing nothing with it. Near the end of the round Brandon Moreno did land a shot that seemed to wobble Figueiredo a bit.
Round 3 saw Moreno’s left leg chopped up after eating many calf kicks through the first two rounds and it showed. Moreno did get the best of the exchanges until the very end when Figueiredo landed a big right hand that dropped Moreno. Figueiredo jumped on a guillotine but the round ended. He did shove Moreno away after the horn.
Round 4 continued to entertain. Moreno took back the momentum a bit switching back to orthodox even with the compromised left leg. Figueiredo apparently felt like he was winning because he took his foot off the gas a bit and did not attack the calf kick as much. Moreno stayed in it even when Figueiredo clinched with him, took his back standing and fired knees to the legs. The round ended with Moreno hitting Figueiredo with a right hand and tripping him down.
Round 5 was a war with both men throwing everything at each other. Figueiredo’s corner kept asking him to slow down while Moreno remained very composed and patient. Figueiredo landed another knockdown. The end of the fight brought out the brawl from both men with Moreno hurting Figueiredo as the fight ended.
After the judges’ decision was announced, the crowd let the boos loose, with Figueiredo reclaiming his title. Moreno, with a ton of support from the crowd, drops the belt in his first defense, though the pair’s career series now sits at 1-1-1. In their post-fight interviews both fighters expressed a desire for a fourth bout, this time in Mexico. Figueiredo actually suggested the bout and Moreno agreed.
No matter how you felt about the decision one thing is certain. We witnessed what may have been the greatest flyweight title fight of all time at UFC 270.
Official Result: Deivison Figueiredo def. Brandon Moreno by unanimous decision 48-47, 48-47, 48-47)