Sunday, January 24, 2021

7 Takeaways From UFC 256: Figueiredo vs Moreno

UFC 256 featured a flyweight title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno that did not disappoint. The war both men fought will likely guarantee a rematch but it only proved what most hardcore MMA fans have known all along. The flyweight division is solid, entertaining, and not going anywhere.

There was a lot to take away from UFC 256, here are some to look at.

No Mercy From COVID 19

At the beginning of fight week, COVID-19 had no mercy on UFC 256. The UFC announced on Tuesday many changes removing several bouts from the card, bringing UFC 256 down just 10 bouts. The original main event was supposed to be the bantamweight champion, Petr Yan vs. title challenger Aljamain Sterling but Yan had to postpone, then COVID-19 did the rest. Thankfully, the new main event was already in town and in the UFC’s bubble after UFC 255.

Killer Cub

Cub Swanson had to recover from an injury and the downtime could have hindered or helped a return to action. When the bout started, it seemed like there was some rust that needed shaking off but once it was, Swanson picked up his second win in a row, and even though it was far from the last one, it was definitely a statement that Swanson should not be overlooked. Check out his handiwork below:

Big Mouth, Big Moves

Kevin Holland went to the ground with Jacare Souza and survived. On his back, against one of the more dangerous grapplers in MMA. Taken down, and on his back, Holland did the two things he does best; talk, and win. A first-round knockout over Souza is the biggest notch on the 28-year-old’s belt. Holland is making gains at middleweight, but oddly enough he wants to invite Khamzat Chimaev back to 185 pounds. That’s not a bad fight.

Charles Oliveira Dominates

Oliveira won a unanimous decision over Ferguson but the way he won against someone like Ferguson is telling of how talented he has become. If you look at Ferguson’s loss to Gaethje, yes he did get finished but it was a war up until the finish came. This fight with Oliveira had him dominate a man that normally does not get dominated, at all. The lightweight division certainly remains interesting at the end of 2020.

“Gods of War” – UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya

The main event may have ended in a draw but damn if it wasn’t good. Even the middleweight champ tweeted, “Gods of War”, at the close of the final round.  Even with the eye poke and groin shot, the back and forth between Figueiredo and Moreno made for an amazing fight worthy of doing again. In his post-fight interview, Moreno said, “we need a rematch.” Figueiredo said he is open to a rematch with a full camp. Both men fought at UFC 255 and made a quick turnaround for UFC 256. If this is what fans got with little preparation, imagine what full camps for both men would bring.

Worse for Wear

In the final round, Moreno’s left arm seemed compromised. He was favoring it after blocking a kick from Figueiredo and there was a welt that led Joe Rogan to believe it was broken, especially when he seemed to not use the arm after grasping at a few times. Then, he just started throwing combinations again but the pain seemed enough of a distraction to even out the score resulting in a draw. Moreno told Rogan in the post-fight interview his arm was fine and it was his shoulder that bothered him in the final round, but he did not think it would be anything that would keep him from a rematch with Figueiredo.

Final Word From Dana White

In the post-fight press conference, Dana White said Figueiredo was transported to the hospital. In his post-fight interview, Figueiredo said he had a stomach infection and was in the hospital before the fight. White said of course he knew about it and was nervous but even though he [Figueiredo] was cleared medically to fight, he did expect what the champion brought.  He, like everyone else that saw the fight, wants to have them face each other again but added, “these guys need some time off.” The future was something White did not want to comment much on outside of admitting the flyweights need to fight again. “I’m going on vacation,” White said when asked about future bookings. While it was hard to move forward, White said 2020 was a great year for the UFC.

There’s obviously more to take away from this event than what is listed here, but the final pay-per-view of 2020 is closing out what has been a pretty great year for the UFC considering what the world has been dealing with. 2021 will likely bring Figueiredo and Moreno together again but this fight could be one for the books when it comes to considering “fight of the year” candidates.

What did you take away from the event?