UFC 256 Fight Card: PPV Schedule, Odds and Predictions for Figueiredo vs. Moreno

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2020

UFC 256 Fight Card: PPV Schedule, Odds and Predictions for Figueiredo vs. Moreno

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    UFC 256 closes out the company's pay-per-view schedule for 2020 with Deiveson Figueiredo headlining just three weeks after topping the UFC 255 card. He'll once again be putting his flyweight title on the line as Brandon Moreno gets his crack at UFC gold. 

    Figueiredo made short work of Alex Perez in the main event of 255. He earned the tap from the challenger in just under two minutes with a guillotine choke while Perez was scrambling to get away from the champ. 

    It was a showcase of just how small the margin of error is with a fighter as dangerous as Figueiredo. He'll see a challenger who has also proved to be dangerous in Moreno, though. 

    The co-main event is a fun lightweight scrap with title implications. Tony Ferguson will look to shake off his loss to Justin Gaethje against the hottest fighter in the division in Charles Oliveira. 

    Here's a look at the entire offering and predictions for the biggest fights on the card. 

Fight Card and Odds

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    Gregory Payan/Associated Press

    Main Card (ESPN+ PPV, 10 p.m. ET)

    • Deiveson Figueiredo (c) (-335) vs. Brandon Moreno (+250): for flyweight title
    • Tony Ferguson (-175) vs. Charles Oliveira (+140)
    • Mackenzie Dern (-200) vs. Virna Jandiroba (+160)
    • Kevin Holland (-106) vs. Ronaldo Souza (-118)
    • Junior Dos Santos (+333) vs. Ciryl Gane (-455)

    Prelims (ESPN2, ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)

    • Daniel Pineda (-159) vs. Cub Swanson (+127)
    • Rafael Fiziev (-159) vs. Renato Moicano (+130)
    • Billy Quarantillo (-167) vs. Gavin Tucker (+135)
    • Sam Hughes (+450) vs. Tecia Torres (-670)

    Early Prelims (ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET)

    • Peter Barrett (+255) vs. Chase Hooper (-335)

    Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Figueiredo Needs Decision to Beat Moreno

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    Leo Correa/Associated Press

    Figueiredo is a sizable favorite against Moreno in the main event. That's for good reason. Pretty much anything you can say for Moreno can be said for the champion, except the champion is, well, the top fighter in the division right now. 

    Both are dangerous submission grapplers on the ground. Both possess one-strike power that can put an opponent away or change the fight. However, Figueiredo just has a little bit more of each of those characteristics. 

    So the X-factor is how durable Moreno is. Figueiredo is a finisher. He has earned stoppages via TKO or submission in 17 of his 21 professional fights. That's an incredible rate for any division and practically unheard of in the flyweight division. 

    Moreno will put that trend to the test. He has never been finished in his 24-fight career and has a decent 13-of-24 finishing rate in his own right. 

    His track record isn't all that great in fights that go the distance, though. He's just 5-5 when a contest goes to the cards, indicating the issues he can have with winning rounds. 

    Figueiredo's striking and power on the ground appear to be too much, but Moreno is good enough to take this fight the distance and make things interesting here and there. 

    Prediction: Figueiredo via decision

Ferguson Halts Oliveira's Streak

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    David Becker/Associated Press

    Ferguson knows the pain of having an impressive winning streak snapped. On Saturday night, he has the opportunity to repay the favor. 

    Ferguson saw his 12-fight win streak that had him at the top of the rankings for an extended period of time come to a crashing halt in a loss to Justin Gaethje. Now he fights Oliveira, who is on a seven-fight win streak of his own. 

    Oliveira's streak has included five submissions and two knockouts. He's always had dangerous jiu-jitsu, but the knockouts are somewhat new. He's only had eight total in his 38-fight career, and the knockouts of Nik Lentz and Jared Gordon came back-to-back. 

    Do Bronx is as dangerous a submission grappler as there is, and the guillotine choke over Kevin Lee in his last fight shows that. Ferguson's submission defense is among the best in the game, though. He's a slick wrestler with unorthodox transitions. 

    On the feet, Ferguson's pressure and volume are unlike anything Oliveira has seen. His streak has been impressive, but none of the wins have come against someone of Ferguson's caliber. 

    As long as Ferguson is focused after taking his first loss in seven years, he should be able to bounce back in this spot. 

    Prediction: Ferguson via decision

Moicano Pulls the Minor Upset Against Fiziev

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung. That's the list of people Renato Moicano has lost to in the UFC Octagon. The Brazilian was one of the more underrated fighters in the featherweight division before moving up to lightweight and beating Damir Hadzovic in February. 

    Much like Oliveira, who will fight in the co-main event, Moicano's best weapon is his slick submission game. He's a crafty grappler who is great at setting traps for his opponent and capitalizing on their mistakes. 

    That is in stark contrast with his opponent on the prelims, Rafael Fiziev. The 27-year-old trains in Thailand and leans on a muay thai background. He's a technical striker who can attack from range with good angles. 

    This is a classic grappler vs. striker matchup, and the winner will suddenly become relevant in the lightweight division. Fiziev has looked strong in decision wins over Alex White and Marc Diakiese, but he hasn't seen a grappler like Moicano. 

    Prediction: Moicano via third-round submission


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