Deiveson Figueiredo will aim to defend his UFC Flyweight Championship for the second time in two months on Saturday, fighting Brandon Moreno in the main event of UFC 256 from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Follow along throughout the evening for live coverage of the entire card.
Early Prelims (7:30PM EST / 4:30PM PST) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EST / 5:00PM PST) (ESPN2 / TSN 5)
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (PPV)
Bout 10: Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1) vs. Brandon Moreno (18-5-1) (UFC Flyweight Championship)
Moreno and Figueiredo Fight To Draw, Champ Given Toughest Challenge Yet
Deiveson Figueiredo was given his toughest test yet as a champion on Saturday, fighting to a majority draw against Brandon Moreno after five rounds of action. The fight was the fourth championship draw in the history of the UFC.
One of the three scorecards scored Figueiredo as the winner, although the other two scored it as a draw. Figueiredo retained his flyweight belt due to the decision.
The fast-paced fight saw both flyweights connect with high levels of strikes as well as land numerous takedowns. The toughness of both fighters as well as the cardio of them was on display.
While putting on a strong performance, Figueiredo had an extra roadblock put on his road to a scorecard victory in the third round, as he was given a point deduction for an accidental kick to Moreno’s groin.
The strict ruling was not one that Figueiredo protested.
“The referee did his job,” said Figueiredo’s translator during his post-fight interview.
Despite not being crowned the champion, Moreno was happy with his performance.
“I feel so happy. I know I wanted the belt but it is what it is,” said Moreno in his post-fight interview. He later stressed that he feels a rematch between them should happen.
Figueiredo last defended his belt only a month ago, defeating Alex Perez in the main event of UFC 255. Moreno solidified himself as the next flyweight contender earlier on that card, defeating Brandon Royval.
The fight took the headlining spot of UFC 256 after visa issues forced a UFC Bantamweight Championship fight between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling off the card.
The fight on Saturday was the quickest turnaround for a champion in UFC history
Figueiredo earned his belt earlier in the year, defeating Joseph Benavidez to claim the vacant belt.
Bout 9: Tony Ferguson (25-4) vs. Charles Oliveira (29-8) (Lightweight)
Oliveira Shuts Ferguson Out on Scorecards, Continues Win Streak
Charles Oliveira used his grappling to control Tony Ferguson for three rounds and defeat him in the co-main event of Saturday’s card.
Oliveira’s strong performance saw him win all rounds, also scoring a 10-8 round on every judge’s scorecards.
Oliveira put Ferguson in trouble late in the first round, putting in an armbar that was fully extended before the round ran out of time. He went on to navigate around Ferguson on the ground for the two following rounds.
Oliveira is now on an eight-fight win streak. His previous win was in March, where he defeated Kevin Lee with a guillotine choke.
The fight on Saturday was Ferguson’s first since losing an interim title fight to Justin Gaethje in May.
Bout 8: Mackenzie Dern (9-1) vs. Virna Jandiroba (16-1) (Strawweight)
Dern Takes Decision Win Over Jandiroba, Picks Up Third 2020 Win
Mackenzie Dern continued her 2020 run on the main card, taking a decision victory over Virna Jandiroba. The fight saw both strawweights slugging on the feet, sometimes going back-and-forth with shots.
Despite both mostly being known for their grappling skills, a large portion of the fight saw the fighters exchange blows on the feet.
“I think we both thought it would be on the ground,” said Dern, reflecting on the fight in her post-fight interview.
Jandiroba picked up her last win in August, where he stopped Felice Herrig with an armbar.
Bout 7: Kevin Holland (20-5) vs. Jacare Souza (26-8) (Middleweight)
Holland Finishes Souza Early With Strikes, Earns Fifth Win In 2020
Kevin Holland got a quick finish on Saturday, stopping Jacare Souza with strikes on the ground in the second minute. Holland made history with the fight, becoming the only UFC fighter to earn five wins in 2020.
The rare finish saw Holland hurt Souza while on his back, stunning him with hammerfist strikes from the position. Getting up to his feet, Holland continued with punches that knocked Souza out and eventually stopped the fight.
Despite being on his back for a large portion of the fight, Holland was active, with elbows to the head and submission attempts.
Holland called out Khamzat Chimaev for a fight next week in his post-fight interview. Chimaev was scheduled to fight Leon Edwards on December 19th, although he was pulled from the fight after Edwards tested positive for COVID-19.
Previous wins in the year for Holland came against Anthony Hernandez, Joaquin Buckley, Darren Stewart and Charlie Ontiveros.
Souza entered the fight on a two-fight skid. His most recent fight was a light heavyweight split decision loss to Jan Blachowicz in November of 2019.
Bout 6: Junior dos Santos (21-8) vs. Ciryl Gane (6-0) (Heavyweight)
Gane Stops dos Santos In The Second Round
Ciryl Gane continued his undefeated run in the UFC, stopping Junior dos Santos in the second round with strikes.
Gane dropped dos Santos with an elbow in a clinch in the second round moments after wobbling him with a jab.
Dos Santos protested the stopped, saying the elbow that dropped him hit the back of his head. Gane wasn’t sure about the stoppage afterwards.
“A little bit, maybe,” was the reaction of Gane when watching the finish in his post-fight interview.
The fight was Gane’s first of the year after four previous bookings falling through from April to October.
Gane’s 2019 run saw him win three UFC fights, defeating Raphael Pessoa, Don’Tale Mayes and Tanner Boser.
The fight was dos Santos’ fourth-straight finish loss. His previous loss came against Jairzinho Rozenstruick in August.
Bout 5: Cub Swanson (26-11) vs. Daniel Pineda (27-13) (Featherweight)
Swanson Stops Pineda With Punches, Earns Win In Return From Injury
Cub Swanson picked up a stoppage win to close the prelims, putting together punches that hurt Daniel Pineda and eventually took him out of the fight in the second round.
Swanson scored with an uppercut then a right cross in the second round that floored Pineda, causing the fight to conclude.
The fight was Swanson’s first after getting tearing his ACL at a Quintet grappling event. He was emotional after the fight when describing his return.
“Last two days I’ve been terrified, just questioning myself,” said Swanson in his post-fight interview.
Swanson found himself in trouble early in the fight as Pineda hurt him with leg kicks that caused him to limp.
Swanson made a comeback late in the first round, dropping Pineda with a two-punch combination in the final minute. He continued to pressure Pineda with strikes as the round ran out of time.
Swanson’s last win was in October of 2019, where he defeated Kron Gracie via decision.
Pineda won his return to the UFC in August, defeating Herbert Burns.
Bout 4: Renato Moicano (14-3-1) vs. Rafael Fiziev (8-1) (Lightweight)
Fiziev Stops Moicano Early With Three-Punch Combination
Rafael Fiziev had an explosive win on the prelims, dropping Renato Moicano in the first round with a three-punch combination. After landing a shot to the body, Fiziev dropped Moicano with two hooks to the head, causing the referee to stop the fight.
The win is Fiziev’s first via stoppage in the UFC. His two previous wins in the promotion came against Alex White and Marc Diakiese.
Moicano, a former featherweight, made the move to lightweight earlier in the year, defeating Damir Hadzovic within a minute with a rear naked choke.
Bout 3: Billy Quarantillo (15-2) vs. Gavin Tucker (12-1) (Featherweight)
Tucker Earns Third-Straight Win, Ends Streak of Quarantillo
Gavin Tucker picked up a big win on the prelims, defeating Billy Quarantillo with a clean sweep on scorecards. The fight saw Tucker showcase many aspects of his game through 15 minutes of action.
Tucker took over the fight after a couple minutes of Quarantillo showing his skills on the feet. Showcasing his striking and takedowns, Tucker was able to steal the first round and take the following rounds on all scorecards.
Tucker was able to do lots of work in clinches, often landing knees when in the position.
Tucker scored numerous takedowns in the final round. Takedowns often weren’t resisted from Quarantillo, who was quite exhausted by the third round.
“Billy’s a hell of a fighter and that was a hell of a fight,” said Tucker in his post-fight interview.
The loss for Quarantillo snapped an eight-fight win streak that included three UFC wins. His most recent fight prior to Saturday was a stoppage win over Kyle Nelson in September.
Tucker entered the fight on a two-fight win streak following victories over Seung Woo Choi and Justin Jaynes.
Bout 2: Tecia Torres (11-5) vs. Sam Hughes (5-1) (Strawweight)
Torres Earns Doctor Stoppage Win After Dominant Round
After a dominating one-round performance from Tecia Torres, damage to the left eye of Sam Hughes took her out of the fight due to a doctor stoppage.
Hughes claimed in-between rounds that she couldn’t see out of her left eye, causing the fight to end.
Torres put together a strong five-minute performance in the first round, landing fast combinations of strikes.
Torres felt reinvigorated after her win.
“I’m excited to bring back the tiny tornado that was always inside of me,” said Torres in her post-fight interview.
Hughes took the fight on short notice stepping in for Angela Hill, who withdrew from the fight due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Hughes entered the fight after a series of bouts in regional promotion LFA. Her most recent fight before Saturday was in October, where she defeated Danielle Hindley.
Hughes lost an LFA title fight in July, being stopped in the fourth round by Vanessa Demopoulos.
Torres snapped a four-fight losing steak back in June, defeating Brianna Van Buren.
Bout 1: Chase Hooper (9-1-1) vs. Peter Barrett (11-4) (Featherweight)
Hooper Makes Comeback To Submit Barrett With Heel Hook
Enduring two rounds that saw him take damage from striking, Chase Hooper caught Peter Barrett with a heel hook in the third round to pick up a win.
Hooper took the fight to the ground with an imanari roll, a move he was able to secure in the round before. Hooper battled with Barrett on the ground for a minute or so before locking in the submission.
The finish came after Hooper frequently found himself in trouble on the feet.
Barrett had success throughout the first two rounds by stopping takedowns and putting together striking on the feet. Hooper was clearly hurt in the second round from leg kicks, causing him to limp and have trouble moving around.
Hooper faced his first loss as a pro in June, losing a decision to Alex Caceres. The win was the second in the UFC for Hooper, who is 21-years-old.
Barrett lost his UFC debut in August, losing a decision to Youssef Zalal.