Brazilian champion Deiveson Figueiredo and his Mexican challenger Brandon Moreno displayed the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fight of the year as Figueiredo retained his belt after the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) thriller ended in a draw.
UFC flyweight champion Figueiredo (20-1-1) and Moreno (18-5-2) were pitted in the main event of UFC 256 on Saturday night in Las Vegas in a matchup made on just three weeks’ notice after both fighters won at UFC 255.
The Brazilian champion and the underdog Mexican challenger were a whirlwind of action over the course of 25 minutes.
In the end, Figueiredo retained his title. But a point deduction for a vicious third-round low blow on a kick spelled the difference between a win and a draw.
The judges dealt two 47-47 scores to one 48-46 for the champ, as he retained the belt via majority draw.
It’s impossible to do the non-stop action justice, but Figueiredo landed big and often with strikes to the head and body.
Tijuana’s Moreno, looking to become the first Mexican-born UFC champion, showed fighting spirit as he rolled with the punches, stung his opponent with frequent counters, and landed takedowns that altered the fight’s trajectory.
An arm injury in the fifth round finally slowed Moreno, allowing the champion to take the last round and save his belt.
He refused to criticize the referee for deducting a point.
“The ref did his job,” Figueiredo said through an interpreter. “I throw the low kick on accident, and it’s not my job to say what he should do.”
The evening’s co-feature bout was a changing of the guard moment, as Brazil’s Charles Oliveira (30-8) scored the biggest win of his career with a dominant victory over longtime contender Tony Ferguson (26-5) of Ventura, Calif.
Oliveira holds the UFC record for submissions, and he nearly got one in the closing seconds of the opening round, as he applied a nasty armbar at a bad angle.
Ferguson held on to the horn, seconds before his arm likely would have snapped.
From there, though, Ferguson’s left arm was jacked, and while he went the distance, Oliveira outgrappled him the rest of the way for a unanimous decision on across-the-board scores of 30-26. (Reuters/NAN)
Kindly Follow Us On Twitter