UFC 256: Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno draw, Charles Oliveira destroys Tony Ferguson
The stacked card was headlined by the flyweight title fight draw between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno – and Charles Oliveira’s stunning beatdown on Tony Ferguson.
Live coverage of the preliminary card begins at 11am (AEDT) on ESPN (Channel 509) on Foxtel and KAYO. The main card kicks off at 2pm on Main Event. ORDER NOW >
In a card that included a ridiculous number of knockouts and stoppage victories – the best was saved for last as Figueiredo and Moreno went to war in a five-round slugfest that set an unofficial record for the number of significant strikes landed in the history of the division.
In a fight where both fighters took heavy punches to the chin and were both knocked down at different times, the pair still couldn’t be separated after five brutal rounds. Both fighters picked up a $50,000 bonus after the fight was named the fight of the night by the UFC.
Figueiredo retains his title belt after the judges returned a majority draw verdict that almost guarantees the two fighters will rumble again in a highly anticipated re-match next year.
Just three weeks after he defended his belt at UFC 255, Figueiredo proved he deserves to be champion after pulling off the quickest consecutive title defences in the history of the UFC.
It was so close to ending in disaster for him.
Moreno seized the momentum of the fight in the middle rounds – and a fifth round comeback was all that separated Figueiredo from having to hand Moreno his belt.
The judges announced a contentious verdict of 47-47, 47-47 and 47-46 (to Figueiredo). His great escape was compounded by a point deduction penalty for a low blow in the third round.
ð @Daico_Deiveson retains his title in a majority draw. #UFC256 pic.twitter.com/zPJzAPvvFe
— UFC (@ufc) December 13, 2020
Figueiredo broke down in tears after the judges’ verdict was announced and went and hugged his coach.
In an emotional TV interview Figueiredo explained he contracted an infection in his stomach this week and had been in hospital until 2am (local time in Las Vegas). He was seen being treated by medical staff immediately after the fight and there were swirling reports he was taken to hospital.
The incredible spectacle was summed up best by lightweight contender Dustin Poirier.
“Both are champions,” he wrote on Twitter.
ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto posted: “This is damn insane. Majority draw. Figueiredo retains the title in a fight of the year. Madness. And that point deduction looms large.”
Journalist Ariel Helwani wrote: “Fight goes the distance. It might actually be a draw considering the point deduction. What a freaking fight. I’m in awe”.
The entire fight world is now screaming out for the re-match after the battle was declared by many to have been the fight of the year. The good thing is, both fighters put their hands up to say they are ready to run it back whenever the UFC books them for the re-match.
It was the pinnacle of the evening, and perhaps the entire year in the UFC, capping off one of the most dramatic cards in recent years.
After an explosive undercard and preliminary card that included six wins via stoppage, including some truly insane knockouts from Cub Swanson and Kevin Holland, the card took a twist when superstar Tony Ferguson was left beaten bloody by Charles Oliveira.
Ferguson was dominated from start to finish by Oliveira, who now has eight straight wins, to emerge as a very serious title contender for the lightweight division.
The fight was very nearly over in the first round with Ferguson narrowly avoiding an arm bar submission when the bell sounded seemingly seconds away from his arm being broken down.
Oliveira twisted Ferguson’s arm beyond the point at which his elbow was straight, but after hearing the 10-second warning, Ferguson just held on when almost every fighter on the planet would have tapped.
Tony Ferguson is not human ð± #UFC256 pic.twitter.com/yAzYH0AIlO
— UFC (@ufc) December 13, 2020
For those wondering if there are aliens: @TonyFergusonXT is one. #UFC
— Marcus Kowal (@MarcusKowal) December 13, 2020
Ferguson’s incredible toughness to hold on while his arm was being twisted in inhumane directions left the UFC stunned – but they were even more impressed by Oliveira in the following two rounds.
He beat Ferguson senseless – handing the former interim champion his second straight loss for the first time in his professional career.
He was officially handed the win via a unanimous decision by the judges (30-26 x3) after Ferguson did just enough to survive three rounds in the bear pit with Oliveira.
While Oliveira is now a very real contender, Ferguson’s days appear numbered.
UFC 256 RESULTS, FULL CARD
Main Card (from 2pm)
Deiveson Figueiredo (c) unanimous draw with Brandon Moreno (47-47 x2, 47-46 to Figueiredo)
Charles Oliveira defeated Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-26 x3)
Mackenzie Dern defeated Virna Jandiroba via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Kevin Holland defeated Ronaldo Souza via KO, Round 1
Ciryl Gane defeated Junior dos Santos via TKO, Round 2
Preliminary Card (from 12pm)
Cub Swanson defeated Daniel Pineda via TKO, Round 2
Rafael Fiziev defeated Renato Moicano via KO, Round 1
Gavin Tucker defeated Billy Quarantillo via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Tecia Torres defeated Sam Hughes via TKO, eye-swelling, Round 1
Early Preliminary Card
Chase Hooper defeated Peter Barrett via submission, heel hook – Round 3
The main card erupted spectacularly when middleweight Kevin Holland knocked out veteran Jacare Souza – from his knees.
The incredible first round finish came after Holland talked smack to Souza with his back on the ground, while Souza had him in a ground-and-pound position.
Holland was able to wriggle out of the hold and in one motion spun himself onto his knees and landed a staggering right hand that turned the lights out on Souza.
Before the referee could run in to stop the contest, Souza landed a second right hand on his knees, leaving Souza in a crumpled heap on the floor.
It left the UFC world stunned.
Just seconds earlier he had been complimenting Souza on landing a punch and cheekily said he'd "had a dream about this" when Souza had him on the ground.
Seconds later Souza was unconscious.
Kevin Holland (-115 ML) with an UNREAL TKO pic.twitter.com/N3q5FDfFRG— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) December 13, 2020
Canadian UFC fighter Tanner Boser called it the punch of the year.
"That Kevin Holland knockout was disgusting. That’s a POTN," he wrote on Twitter.
ESPN MMA commentator Brett Okamoto wrote: "Oh my GOD. Kevin Holland just played on the ground with Jacare Souza, hurt him with elbows, talked to him while he did it, then knocked him out with shots from the bottom. Wowwwwww. Amazing".
Combat sports commentator Kevin Iole wrote: "Kevin Holland viciously KOs Jacare as they were on their knees grappling. What a combination. Holland is 5-0 this year, only the third UFC fighter to ever do that, following Huerta and Magny".
Holland is now 5-0 since May, pulling off five straight wins in eight months.
The win also leaves him as a very strong contender to be crowned the UFC's fighter of the year.
The undercard exploded when lightweight beast Rafael Fiziev defeated Renato Moicano with a thundering knockout combination.Fiziev’s sweet trilogy of punches, including a vicious left hook, left Moicano in gaga-land before he even hit the floor.The referee jumped in to stop the fight after Moicano dropped to the deck, while Moicano appeared to protest the stoppage as being premature.Seconds later Moicano tried to get back to his feet and stumbled on wobbly legs.The knockout sent a message to the lightweight division. “The kid is a killer,” UFC commentator Joe Rogan said.“When it comes to striking this kid is world class. It was a good stoppage. He immediately fell back on his ass.”
Body. Head. Head.