LAS VEGAS — Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno saved the best for nearly last. In the UFC’s penultimate show of the year, the flyweights went at it viciously in their battle for Figueiredo’s belt in the main event of UFC 256 Saturday at Apex.
Judges scored it 47-47 twice and 47-46 for Figueiredo, leading the bout to be a majority draw. As champion, Figueiredo kept the belt. Yahoo Sports also had it 47-47, giving Figueiredo Rounds 1, 3 and 5.
The bout was decided because of a point deduction on Figueiredo in the third round for a low blow. He kicked Moreno in the groin as if he were a punter trying to kick a 60-yard punt. Moreno shrieked in agony and went down. He spent time on all fours coughing, but got up and continued to fight.
It was an unbelievable back-and-forth battle in which each fighter showed heart, perseverance and sheer guts. Figueiredo was landing the heavier shots but Moreno just took them and kept coming.
At one point in the fourth round, Moreno unloaded a six- or eight-punch combination to the chin, but Figueiredo took it and kept coming.
They went at it furiously in the fifth, with Moreno’s eye closing because of a head butt. Neither man backed down for a second and had there been a crowd, it would have been on its feet roaring for the final seven or eight minutes.
It’s a Fight of the Year-type bout that demands a rematch. Though there are plenty of contenders in the suddenly resurgent flyweight division, the fans, let alone the fighters, deserve to see this one again.
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