Sports

Deiveson Figueiredo Reclaimed His UFC Flyweight Belt At UFC 270

Two fights couldn’t seal one of the UFC’s best rivalries in recent years and Dana White was eager to sign off on the trilogy bout between Brandon Moreno (19-6-2) and Deiveson Figueiredo (21-2-1) at UFC 270. Their third fight in just three years, Figueiredo retained the flyweight belt in their bout fight thanks to a majority draw, Moreno claimed the title with a submission victory in their second, and on Saturday night from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, Figueiredo earned his championship back thanks to a 48-47 decision victory.

A slimmer Figueiredo opened the bout the more aggressive of the two, walking down Moreno and chopping the champ down with counter leg kicks, sending him to the mat twice in the first round. Figueiredo earned a takedown and took Moreno’s back, but the champ easily found his way back to his feet. Confident in his approach, Moreno put his power on full display in the second round, stuffing takedowns and exchanging bombs from his feet. Figueiredo appeared to stun Moreno momentarily, only for the champ to come back with a big right of his own just before the end of the round.

In the third, Figueiredo earned a takedown again in the third, but couldn’t capitalize on the ground. Figueiredo sent Moreno stumbling backwards, but it was Moreno again hurting the former champion with a heavy-handed shot. A short left hook stopped Figueiredo in his tracks, hurting the challenger again. Figueiredo continued to chop Moreno with outside leg kicks and the champ appeared to Figueiredo yet again with a big right hand. Toward the end of the third, Figueiredo sent Moreno fast first into the mat with a quick, counter right overhand, then locked in a front choke as time in the round expired.

Figueiredo found his rhythm with short outside leg kicks over and again throughout the round as Moreno was clearly compromised by the pain of his leg. Moreno appeared to take control back over the fight toward the end of the round, walking down Figueiredo before the challenger clinched him against the Octagon. Moreno fought his way from the cage, continuing to stand in and toss big shots.

To open the fifth, Moreno locked in a body lock and pressured Figueiredo to the ground. The challenger quickly found his way back to his feet and midway through the round sent the champion stumbling backwards with a big right hand. Moreno moved even further into counterstriking in the final two minutes, patiently waiting for Figueiredo to toss something before moving forward with a flurry. The final 30 seconds of the fight saw Moreno and Figueiredo throw everything they had remaining to give the judges any further incentive to sway the card one way or another.

With another fight going to decision, it’s hard to imagine White going another direction than Moreno-Figueiredo IV, but at some point, you’ve got to give other challengers a shot at the belt. We’ll see where the UFC goes in the months to come.

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