The UFC Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to a great night of fights at UFC 256: Figueiredo vs. Moreno. The card saw five (T)KOs ,one submission, and four decisions, including a majority-draw.
The prelims started off with a fun scrap between Chase Hooper and Peter Barrett that saw Hooper snatch victory from the jaws of defeat after clearly losing the fight up until he scored the third-round heel hook victory. That was followed by Tecia Torres scoring her first knockout, a TKO doctor’s stoppage after the first round was the result of Hughes saying she couldn’t see out of one of her eyes. Then we were treated to another exciting matchup when Billy Quarantillo was bested by a much-improved Gavin Tucker, who fought the perfect fight and snagged the unanimous decision. Rafael Fiziev got the sensational knockout after catching one of Moicano’s kicks, throwing him to the floor and launching a punch that nearly stopped the earth’s rotation. It definitely stopped Renato’s existence on the conscious plane. Then Cub Swanson came into the octagon after 14 months away and gave us a vintage performance where he dominated Pineda after a rocky start in the beginning, then sealed his performance with a crispy, crunchy, second-round knockout.
The main card opened with Cyril Gane knocking out Junior dos Santos in the second-round. Normally JDS looks great up until he gets one on the chin, but this time around, Gane looked the better of the two, easily taking round one and then clipping “Cigano” with a hard jab followed with a nasty elbow. Junior went down like a sack of bricks and Gane followed him down to finish the job. That was followed by Jacare getting blasted into another dimension when Kevin Holland managed to knock him out from a seated position. Yes, you read that right. Mackenzie Dern bested Virna Jandiroba via unanimous decision in a sloppy fight that saw her incur a broken nose in the process. Tony Ferguson was dominated on the feet. He was dominated on the ground. He very likely has some torn ligaments in his arm now after surviving an armbar attack that was well into hyperextension. And now he has his second straight loss. “Do Bronx” beat him up all three rounds and the judges were unanimous in their 30-26 decision.
The main event is one of the best fights I’ve ever seen and an easy candidate for FOTY. Joanna and Weili have serious competition. The fight was a back-and-forth affair that saw both men trading hard shots, kicks, the kitchen sink. Dana even said, “That was the best fight in the history of this division” and he would be right. After the scorecards were read, Figueiredo would get the majority draw. If he hadn’t had a point deducted for a hard low kick, Figgy would’ve won a unanimous decision. It was a phenomenal scrap. Did I mention that?
Performance of the Night: Kevin Holland, Rafael Fiziev
Chase Hooper (heel hook, 3:02 of round 3), Tecia Torres (TKO (injury), 5:00 of round 1), Rafael Fiziev (KO (strikes), 4:05 of round 1), Cub Swanson (KO (strikes), 1:52 of round 2), Cyril Gane (TKO (strikes), 2:34 of round 2), and Kevin Holland (KO (punches), 1:45 of round 1) all finished their fights before the final horn but it would be Kevin Holland and Rafael Fiziev that would take the $50K performance bonuses.
Fight of the Night: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno
Gavin Tucker (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Mackenzie Dern (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Charles Oliveira (30-26 x3), and Deiveson Figueiredo (47-46 47-47, 47-47) all went the distance in their respective fights but it would Deiveson Figueiredo’s war with Brandon Moreno that would take FOTN honors.
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