Figueiredo might be a front runner for the UFC's Fighter of the Year Award. He headlines the UFC 256 card as a -410 favourite.
Less than a month after they each picked up first-round finishes at UFC 255, Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno return to the Octagon for the main event at UFC 256 on Saturday, with Figueiredo’s flyweight belt on the line.
Figueiredo’s second title defence will be the quickest fight turnaround for a UFC champion ever, but it likely won’t be an easy fight for the Brazilian as Moreno is a capable opponent and the No. 1 flyweight contender. Figueiredo is a -410 favourite on the MMA odds, while Moreno is a +285 underdog.
Deiveson Figueiredo UFC 256 Odds
Figueiredo (20-1 MMA record) has had one of the most dominant years in UFC history. He is on a five-fight win streak, including a second-round TKO win over Joseph Benavidez in February and first-round submission wins over Benavidez (to win the flyweight title in July) and Alex Perez (his first title defence) in November.
The champ is a devastating finisher. His powerful strikes are built on precision and he boasts the second best all-time significant striking accuracy among flyweights (55.8 per cent for Figueiredo, 34 per cent for Moreno). It’s unfortunate for his opponents because as good as his striking is, he’s even better on the ground. Figueiredo has the best submissions per 15-minute average in the history of the flyweight division (3.02 for Figueiredo, 0.54 for Moreno), he averages more takedowns per 15-minutes (1.86 for Figueiredo, 1.75 for Moreno) and he has a better takedown accuracy (50 per cent for Figueiredo, 40 per cent for Moreno).
Brandon Moreno UFC 256 Odds
Moreno (18-5-1 MMA record) has shown huge improvement since being cut by the UFC in 2018. He is unbeaten in his last five fights and he is riding a three-fight win streak. Those include unanimous decision wins over Kai Kara-France and Jussier Formiga before his first-round TKO win over Brandon Royval at UFC 255.
The biggest improvement to his repertoire since his return to the UFC has been Moreno’s striking. His average of 3.01 significant strikes landed per minute is actually better than Figueiredo, who averages 2.43. Moreno’s significant strike defence is also superior to the champ. His defence is at 63 per cent compared to 55 per cent for Figueiredo. Where Moreno really excels, however, is the ground game. His durability and cardio combined with his long limbs allow Moreno to maintain control on the ground while looking for submissions.
Figueiredo vs. Moreno UFC 256 Prediction
With both fighters coming off of first round wins on the same card, three weeks ago, this fight is about as fair as it gets in terms of rest. Both fighters prefer the ground and although Moreno’s grappling ability has potential to give Figueiredo trouble, Figueiredo is still the superior fighter both on the ground and standing up. This should be another first round submission win for Figueiredo.