UFC 256: Figueiredo vs Moreno Preview & Prediction
By Cathal Geeney
The main event on Saturday night sees Deiveson Figueiredo look to defend his UFC 125-pound belt for the second time in three weeks, when he takes on Brandon Moreno.
Both Figueiredo and Moreno competed at UFC 255 last month and came through unscathed, allowing them to make history by fighting at back-to-back Pay-Per-View events.
Figueiredo brings both pressure and power to the table. He will look to set the pace on Saturday night, coming forward and using his jab to set up a powerful right hand, while mixing in an array of kicks.
Deiveson fights from an orthodox stance, occasionally switching, and has a good range of movement. He looks to create angles to get his shots off.
The former sushi chef has only a single defeat in his MMA career, a decision loss against Justin Formiga back in March of last year. While generally a competent grappler, he was exposed here as Formiga landed successful take downs in every single round.
While grappling may have been an area to expose, Deiveson demonstrated in his last outing that this might be a bad idea as he managed to sink in the guillotine on Alex Perez, after Perez had landed a takedown.
However, Brandon Moreno will be confident he can cause an upset coming off an impressive victory over Brandon Royval. The Tijuana-born fighter is well rounded and will be comfortable wherever the fight goes. In terms of striking, he fights from an orthodox stance and looks to lead with a jab or even a lead hook before rushing in with a combination. He also likes to throw a lot of leg kicks to disrupt his opponent’s rhythm.
As for grappling, he is quite opportunistic with offensive wrestling and will look for a takedown when the opportunity presents itself. The Mexican has ten submission wins to his name and will look to capitalise on any mistake.
Defensively, the challenger stays active and looks to scramble or reverse any takedown attempts.
Moreno is a very game opponent. He will keep looking for a path to victory no matter how the fight is going. He is extremely resilient, and it is no surprise that he has not been stopped in his twenty-five professional fights.
However, he can be slightly wild when entering exchanges which could prove to be very dangerous against a fighter like Figueiredo.
It will be interesting to see where this fight takes place. It may be in Moreno’s best interests to try and get this fight to the mat early and get past the first round. Figueiredo is explosive and has never fought past three rounds, so trying to at least make the reigning champion work hard early on, could pay dividends later in the fight.
But I am still going to pick Figueiredo to successfully defend his title. I don’t like how Moreno’s wild attacks match up with the power of Deiveson and think that he may just have too much for the challenger. Another impressive victory this weekend and it will be very difficult to look past Deiveson Figueiredo for Fighter of the Year.