At this weekend’s UFC 263 event, we will see the rematch between UFC Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.
Way back at UFC 256 in December of last year, Figueiredo and Moreno put on an instant classic for the Flyweight Championship. The champion Figueiredo was coming off of an impressive first title defense against Alex Perez via a first round submission and wanted a quick turnaround fight against another top contender in Moreno. Moreno proceeded to give the champion his toughest fight since his first an only loss over a year and a half prior. Despite giving Figueiredo all he could handle, the decision seemed to have gone in favor of the champion, had it not been for a point deduction. In the third round, Figueiredo was deducted one point for repeated low blows. Had he not been deducted the point, he would have won a unanimous decision, yet the point deduction led to two judges scoring the contest 47-47, meaning the fight ended in a majority draw. With the rematch set for this weekend, the two men will look to prove they are the better man and walk away with the Flyweight Championship.
For the champion Figueiredo, he has already beaten Moreno. Had the point not been deducted, he would have been declared the winner. While Moreno’s performance may have netted him a rematch, Figueiredo proved he is the better fighter. For this rematch, Figueiredo will need to maintain the striking and dictate where the fight takes place. He is incredibly strong for the division and has a definitive advantage wherever the fight takes place. His true improvements will need to be in the cardio department, should this fight go longer. Moreno proved that he has an incredible chin and can withstand a striking onslaught from the champ. Should the fight go into championship rounds, Figueiredo will need to make sure he is able to finish strong and put Moreno away for good.
Moreno is playing with house money in this fight. He has already proven his ability, being able to hang with the best fighter in the division. Moreno’s strategy for the rematch should be to pick his spots on the feet with Figueiredo. He won’t be able to “out-power” the champion but can stick and move with Figueiredo for the duration of the fight. And while Moreno has a solid ground game, it may not be the game he wants to play with Figueiredo who has three submissions in his last five fights. Moreno while need to out pace the champion and work more than Figueiredo, especially in the early rounds. Figueiredo will come out guns blazing as he tends to do. If Moreno can take one or two of the opening three rounds, that sets him up tremendously for the fourth and fifth. However, in an attempt to win those rounds, he cannot leave himself exposed because Figueiredo will make him pay.
This Flyweight clash has fight of the night and show-stealing potential. Expect fireworks from UFC 263’s co-main event.
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