The hastily made UFC 256 main event between Figueiredo and Moreno turned out to be one of the greatest fights in UFC history.
The flyweight title bout was made on three weeks’ notice after both men won at UFC 255, and the duo put on a bout that will place high on the list for “Fight of the Year.”
After a 25-minute whirlwind of action, a point deduction spelled the difference, as Figueiredo who lost a point in the third round due to a low blow, retained the belt in a majority draw. The judges scores were 47-46 for Figueiredo and a pair of 47-47 marks.
The opening round saw Figueiredo, who had won each of his past four bouts inside of seven minutes, not showing much respect for Moreno, as he stood right in front of the challenger and landed shots to the head and body. But Moreno stayed composed and started landing crisp straight hands of his own, making it clear he wasn’t going to be bullied.
Moreno, a Tijuana native who was looking to become the first Mexican-born champion in UFC history, gained in confidence in the second round and became more assertive. Another back-and-forth standup round ensued, with a pair of Moreno takedowns likely making the difference.
The wild and frenetic pace continued in the third. Figueiredo continued landing body shots and kicks. Moreno began landing more frequently. Figueiredo then landed a bullseye of a groin kick. It was his second foul, after an eye poke in the second, and ref Jason Herzog deducted a point.
— UFC (@ufc) December 13, 2020
The fourth round was won of the wildest in the history of the sport, a malestrom of violence, with the Brazilian and Mexican both fighting with a spirit that did their countries proud.
In the fifth, Moreno appeared to favor a left arm injury of some sort, which slowed him down, and this enabled a tiring Figueiredo to land enough to take the round and save his belt.
After the bout, Figueiredo reveled he was in the hospital with food poisoning until 2 a.m. Saturday. He also would not criticize Herzog’s decision to deduct a point.
“The ref did his job,” he said through an interpreter. “I throw the low kick on accident, and it’s not my job do say what he should do.”
With the draw result, both competitors ran their current unbeaten streaks to six: Figueiredo at 5-0-1, Moreno 4-0-2.
Both fighters indicated an interest in a rematch afterwards, and it’s expected to materialize in 2021.