Putting his belt on the line only weeks after defending it against Alex Perez, Deiveson Figueiredo will fight Brandon Moreno in the main event of UFC 256. Here’s a preview of the pay-per-view card which will take place from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on Saturday.
Early Prelims (7:30PM EST / 4:30PM PST) (ESPN+ / UFC Fight Pass)
Bout 1: Chase Hooper (9-1-1) vs. Peter Barrett (11-4) (Featherweight)
After a slew of cancelled bouts shortened Saturday’s card, the “Early Prelims” will be a singular bout. Looking to return from his first loss as a pro, Chase Hooper will fight Peter Barrett to open the card.
The 21-year-old, Hooper, took his first loss in June, dropping a decision to Alex Caceres. His previous fight was his UFC debut, defeating Daniel Teymur in late 2019.
Barrett lost his UFC debut in August to Youssef Zalal via decision.
Preliminary Card (8:00PM EST / 5:00PM PST) (ESPN2 / TSN 5)
Bout 2: Tecia Torres (11-5) vs. Sam Hughes (5-1) (Strawweight)
Taking a fight on only a few days notice, Sam Hughes will make her UFC debut against Tecia Torres. Hughes replaces Angela Hill, who was removed from the card after testing positive for COVID-19.
Hughes last competed in October, defeating Danielle Hindley on an LFA card. Her previous fight was her sole loss as a pro, being stopped in an LFA championship bout against Vanessa Demopoulos.
Torres snapped a four-fight skid in her last bout, defeating Brianna Van Buren on scorecards.
Bout 3: Billy Quarantillo (15-2) vs. Gavin Tucker (12-1) (Featherweight)
Looking to continue his streak of wins since joining the UFC, Billy Quarantillo will fight Gavin Tucker on the prelims. Quarantillo is currently on an impressive eight-fight win streak which includes three UFC wins. He last competed in September, where he took Kyle Nelson out of the fight in the third round with strikes.
Tucker has won his last two bouts. Rear naked chokes have been his pathway to victory recently, as he has used the submission to stop Seung Woo Choi and Justin Jaynes.
Bout 4: Renato Moicano (14-3-1) vs. Rafael Fiziev (8-1) (Lightweight)
Successful in his lightweight debut earlier in the year, Renato Moicano will stay in the division when he fights Rafael Fiziev on the prelims. After two-straight losses at featherweight in 2019, Moicano won in a lightweight fight in March, defeating Damir Hadzovic within a minute with a rear naked choke.
Fiziev has won his last two fights via decision, winning over Alex White and Marc Diakiese.
Bout 5: Cub Swanson (26-11) vs. Daniel Pineda (27-13) (Featherweight)
MMA veterans Cub Swanson and Daniel Pineda will close out Saturday’s preliminary card. The fight will be Swanson’s first fight since injuring himself in late 2019 at a Quintet grappling event.
Swanson’s last fight was a win, defeating Kron Gracie on scorecards in October of 2019.
Pineda made his return to the UFC in August, defeating prospect Herbert Burns in the second round. The fight was his first UFC appearance in six years. In his time outside of the cage he competed in LFA, Bellator and PFL among other promotions.
Main Card (10:00PM EST / 7:00PM PST) (PPV)
Bout 6: Junior dos Santos (21-8) vs. Ciryl Gane (6-0) (Heavyweight)
Heavyweight prospect Ciryl Gane will finally get a fight in 2020 on Saturday, fighting Junior dos Santos. Gane has struggled to get a fight throughout the year, with four previous bookings falling through for various reasons. Undefeated as a pro, Gane earned his third UFC victory in December of 2019 when he defeated Tanner Boser.
Dos Santos enters the fight on a three-fight skid. Just like his two losses before in the streak, dos Santos was stopped in his most recent fight, being finished in the second round by Jairzinho Rozenstruick.
Bout 7: Kevin Holland (20-5) vs. Jacare Souza (26-8) (Middleweight)
Kevin Holland could break a record on Saturday, aiming to become the first UFC fighter to win five fights in 2020 when he fights Jacare Souza. Holland’s busy year has seen him defeat Anthony Hernandez, Joaquin Buckley, Darren Stewart and most recently, Charlie Ontiveros.
The fight on Saturday will be Souza’s first since 2020. Souza was the first UFC fighter to be pulled from a fight due to a positive COVID-19 test, removing him from a bout against Uriah Hall in May.
He was originally scheduled to fight Jack Hermansson on Saturday, although opponents were shifted around last week.
Bout 8: Mackenzie Dern (9-1) vs. Virna Jandiroba (16-1) (Strawweight)
Two win streaks in the strawweight division will collide on the main card when Mackenzie Dern faces Virna Jandiroba. Jandiroba picked up a quick victory in her last outing, catching Felice Herrig in the first round with an armbar in August.
Dern has had a busy year in MMA despite minimal time in the cage. First-round armbar wins for Dern over Hannah Cifers and Randa Markos have given her two wins this year and have only added up to just over six minutes of combined time.
Bout 9: Tony Ferguson (25-4) vs. Charles Oliveira (29-8) (Lightweight)
After taking his first loss in years, Tony Ferguson will return in the co-main event against Charles Oliveira. Ferguson lost an interim title shot back in May, being stopped in the fifth round of action by Justin Gaethje. Prior to the loss, Ferguson held a 12-fight win streak which included victories over Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, Kevin Lee and more.
Oliveira is on a streak of his own currently, having stopped his last seven opponents. He competed in UFC’s last event before their COVID-19 shutdown, stopping Kevin Lee in the third round with a guillotine choke.
Bout 10: Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1) vs. Brandon Moreno (18-5-1) (UFC Flyweight Championship)
Hardly leaving the spotlight since his last title fight, Deiveson Figueiredo is back in the main event on Saturday, this time fighting Brandon Moreno. Figueiredo defended his belt for the first time on November 21st, defeating Alex Perez in the first round with a guillotine choke.
Moreno positioned himself as the next title contender on that same card, defeating Brandon Royval due to injury on the prelims. Moreno is on a three-fight win streak which has wins over Jussier Formiga and Kai Kara-France on it as well.
A win for Figueiredo would give him a hard to dispute case for “Fighter of the Year.” His year started in February, where a dominating win over Joseph Benavidez came with an asterisk: while it was a title fight, Figueiredo missed weight for the fight, which stopped him from taking the belt in the fight.
Figueiredo put together an even better performance in their second meeting, choking out Benavidez within a round to win the belt in July.
A win on Saturday would be Figueiredo’s fourth in the year.