Deiveson Figueiredo Beats Brandon Moreno by Decision, Wins UFC Flyweight Title

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2022

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 22: (L-R) Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil battles Brandon Moreno of Mexico in their UFC flyweight championship fight during the UFC 270 event at Honda Center on January 22, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Chris Unger/Getty Images

The third time was a charm for Deiveson Figueiredo. The former flyweight champion reclaimed his throne with a unanimous decision win over Brandon Moreno in the co-main event of UFC 270 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, on Saturday night.

The first two fights in the rivalry were good, but the rubber match was an instant classic. 

The two once again showed they can make for an electric matchup in the early going. The challenger utilized plenty of leg kicks to slow Moreno's movement, but the champion landed some good shots of his own in a highly competitive first frame. 

UFC @ufc

Another solid leg kick from the challenger met by a BIG right hand by the champ 👀 [ #UFC270 | Main Card LIVE on E+ PPV: https://t.co/Nr2IHwgXWX ] https://t.co/PY69rVW6kH

The second round was prototypical high-quality flyweight action. Moreno landed some power punches while Figueiredo continued to chip away with leg kicks. Throw in some really fun scrambles and it was another difficult round to score. 

UFC @ufc

Trading shots like Panini cards 🤜🤛 [ #UFC270 | Main Card LIVE on E+ PPV: https://t.co/Nr2IHwgXWX ] https://t.co/Jq5jD003p7

The challenger had two strong moments in the third round. He wobbled the champion with a left:

UFC @ufc

Gettin' Figgy with it 🇧🇷 [ @Daico_Deiveson | #UFC270 ] https://t.co/MYEBrGs9Tp

Then he followed it up with a right hand that put Moreno down and could have ended the fight if he had a little more time left on the clock:

UFC @ufc

SAVED BY THE BELL 🔔 [ #UFC270 | Main Card LIVE on E+ PPV: https://t.co/Nr2IHwgXWX ] https://t.co/rc0mtpo9Ed

The big finish didn't seem to bother Moreno, though. Despite the effect of the leg kicks he rallied to put together a strong fourth round and the fight headed to the fifth with the distinct possibility that it could determine the winner. 

UFC @ufc

This fight is WILD! [ #UFC270 | Main Card LIVE on E+ PPV: https://t.co/Nr2IHwgXWX ] https://t.co/FftOHOyDbV

Despite late flurries from both, the fight went the distance and another epic chapter was added to their rivalry. 

The result leaves the three-fight series at an even 1-1-1 between the two fighters.

The first fight saw Figueiredo attempt to fight Moreno on a three-week turnaround after beating Alex Perez at UFC 255. Moreno established himself as a serious threat in a fight that ended up in a draw after a five-round battle.

So with a full camp to prepare for Moreno, Figueiredo was supposed to have an edge in the rematch. It didn't play out that way. Moreno was the better fighter on that night and ended up submitting Figueiredo in the third round.

Now, Figueiredo has his own win in this rivalry, and it leaves the division in an interesting place.

For one, the win probably means that Figueiredo will remain in the flyweight division. He missed weight in his first crack at the title against Joseph Benavidez. The cut down to 125 pounds is difficult, but he feels like he's figured it out.

"I didn't want to stay in the flyweight division because I had so many complications with my diet and I just didn't think it was feasible anymore," Figueiredo said, per Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. "But I changed a lot of things in my life. I got a new nutritionist, I got a new team, I quit managing my business and I just got a new attitude."

That new attitude should be scary in a division that has a few contenders ready to leap into the title picture.

He should have a close eye on a March fight scheduled between Askar Askarov and Kai Kara-France, per ESPN's Brett Okamoto. Both have made strong cases and have yet to get a crack at the title.

Then again, it's hard to envision a scenario where Moreno and Figueiredo don't meet for a fourth time eventually.