In the final pay-per-view of 2020 for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, fans saw a potential fight of the year candidate in the Flyweight title main event that might go down as the greatest bout in the history of the division.
Flyweight champion Deivison Figueiredo retained his title after beating No. 1 ranked Brandon Moreno in the main event of UFC 256 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas via majority draw.
Sal D’Amato and Junichiro Kamijo had the fight knotted at 47 apiece, while Derek Cleary scored the fight 48-46 for the champion.
The win brings Figueiredo to an undefeated close to 2020 going from missing weight at the top of the year to successfully defending his belt a second time to end the year.
He also made some more history along the way, now holding the record for the shortest turnaround time for title defense (21 days).
Moreno was also fighting after competing just three weeks ago and became the first-ever Mexican-born fighter to compete for a UFC championship.
Figueiredo came out in the first round swinging for the fences, looking to dispose of Moreno early.
His first title defense lasted less than two minutes.
Later in the round, Moreno was able to secure a trip off of his back and landed a left high kick on Figueiredo.
At the start of the second round, the champion attempted to continue to stalk the challenger but Moreno mounted an offense behind body strikes.
He even secured a takedown but was inadvertently poked in the eye by Figueiredo.
The third round was ultimately the five minutes that decided the fight after referee Jason Herzog opted to take a point away from Figueiredo after his second illegal strike of the fight after front kicking Moreno in the groin.
That point could have meant the world of difference for the champion as he landed a takedown in that round and could’ve been considered the winner of the round without the penalty.
Moreno began to find his spots in the fourth round, finding sweet spots to Figueiredo’s head appearing to rock him at one point.
Before the end of the round, Figueiredo fired back with combinations that got the attention of Moreno, as he changed levels and landed the takedown.
The fifth and final round of the last championship fight of the year saw both flyweights expending any last bits of energy into gusts of combinations.
As the horn sounded, both fighters shared a hug in the middle of the octagon before the reading of the scorecards.
UFC President Dana White expressed after the main event that a rematch would be the “only thing to do.”
Now the men’s flyweight division appears to be on the upswing after being considered for complete extraction earlier in the year.
Figueiredo (20-1-1) now has two title defenses to his name and may be one step closer toward possibly being named the UFC Fighter of the Year.
Moreno is now 18-5-2 and has still not lost a fight since May of 2018.
Immediately following the fight, White called the 25-minute war the “greatest flyweight fight ever” before awarding both fighters “Fight of the Night.”
In the co-main event, longtime UFC staple Charles Oliveira notched the biggest win of his career after knocking off No. 1 ranked lightweight Tony Ferguson.
It was a dominating performance for Oliveira that caught the attention of anybody who watched the 15-minute performance.
In the first round, Oliveira was able to get a body lock on Ferguson and slammed him to the canvas before immediately getting into mount position.
Prior to the end of the first five minutes, Oliveira nearly secured a armbar submission late and it appeared he was heading toward dishing out a devastating injury to the elbow of Ferguson.
The sound of the bell may have prevented further injury to the former interim lightweight champion.
It was another takedown for Oliveira in the second round but this time it was ground and pound that caused the most damage to Ferguson with the former maintaining a top position.
Oliveira landed another slam takedown in the third and final round and was able to get into the mount position again.
He nearly secured a triangle choke on Ferguson before being awarded the unanimous decision victory.
All three judges scored the fight 30-26 for Oliveira with all judges awarded the first round 10-8 to Oliveira.
At the conclusion of the fight, Oliveira signaled that he wants a title shot in the near future.
Oliveira (30-8) is now on an eight-fight win streak, the longest since starting his career 14-0.
Ferguson (25-5) has lost back-to-back fights for the first time in his career after suffering his first loss since 2012 in May.
Two UFC legends suffered knockout losses at UFC 256 to top-15 contenders.
Number seven ranked Heavyweight Junior dos Santos was knocked out with a close-range elbow from No. 14 ranked Ciryl Gane in the second round of their three-round contest.
Later in the night, No. 15 ranked Kevin Holland returned to the octagon after testing positive for coronavirus a couple of weeks ago with a knockout win over Jacare Souza.
Holland knocked Souza out while laying on his back with a hammerfist before following up with finishing punches.
With roster cuts coming soon, it is unclear if dos Santos and Souza will return to the UFC in the future.