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UFC 256: Figueiredo vs Moreno - Dec 12 🇺🇸


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Saturday 12th December. The UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Last PPV of 2020 and it’s a beauty.

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PPV MAIN CARD
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno - Flyweight Title

Tony Ferguson vs Charles Oliveira

Mackenzie Dern vs Virna Jandiroba

Jacare Souza vs Kevin Holland 

Junior Dos Santos vs Ciryl Gane

ESPN PRELIMS
Cub Swanson vs Daniel Pineda

Renato Moicano vs Rafael Fiziev

Billy Quarantillo vs Gavin Tucker

Tecia Torres vs Sam Hughes 

ESPN+/FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Chase Hooper vs Peter Barrett 

 

What a card. As always, this probably isn’t the final bout order. I’ll update it as we go. But that’s the meat and spuds of this one and I think it looks fucking class myself. Even losing the original Nunes vs Anderson and Yan vs Sterling headliners hasn’t really put a dent in it for me. Only a few weeks away now as well so we should probably get talking about it.

 

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Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno. Well, fuck me. Here we go again. Of course, this was supposed to be headlined by Yan vs Sterling but it’s been pushed back now to a later date. And here we are. Crazy turn of events with these two both just fighting at UFC 255. Mega quick turnaround for both and for Figueiredo it’s history as I don’t think a UFC champion has ever defended a belt twice in this short of a timeframe. It’s lucky for the UFC as well. With Yan vs Sterling off, they’d have been scrambling for something to replace it and on this notice there weren’t many options. If Fig had won a 5 round war and was unable to fight again so quickly I don’t know what they’d have done. Dana must’ve let out a sigh of relief when Figgy pissed straight through Perez the way he did.

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What a man.

I really love this fight. I said going into UFC 255 that I thought Moreno should’ve been the one getting the title shot over Perez so I’m chuffed with this. It’s a better fight and, while I don’t really think Moreno has quite the game to dethrone Figueiredo, he’s wild and nutty enough that maybe that’s what it’s going to take to put the champ in some bother. As we saw in the Royval fight, Moreno is just all over the place. He’s constantly on the offence and creating chaos in there. It’ll be interesting to see how Figueiredo tackles that because as scary as he’s looked of late, it’s been against conventional kickbox/wrestler types. Moreno is the type of Mexican madman that should bring a different flavour to it. I think it’ll either throw Figgy off or backfire and Moreno will charge into something devastating. I’d favour Fig Daddy Cool but whatever happens I think this is going to be bell to bell mayhem. Don’t want to jinx it but I think this could genuinely be a late FOTY contender. Definitely the most excited I can recall being for a Flyweight title fight. 

 

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Tony Ferguson vs Charles Oliveira is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** for 256 easy. Fucking easy. Even on a card as deep as this one, this fight just hits the spot for me big time. When I envision this fight I just picture a frantic pace and action in all areas. The grappling especially will be incredible. The striking will be all out chaos as well. It’s a hell of a fight and I don’t have a fucking clue what’s going to happen. The timing of these two colliding makes it even more intriguing. Ferguson was on such a great run for 6 years. Wins over Cerrone, Pettis, Kevin Lee, RDA, Barboza, Josh Thomson etc. But that beating he took at the hands of Justin Gaethje in May was absolutely brutal and it remains to be seen if Ferguson will be the same. And that comes at the same time as Oliveira finally getting that big fight opportunity he’s been after for so long. Oliveira has been on fire for the past couple of years. 7 fight win streak, 7 finishes. But he never seemed to climb any higher in the division. This is his chance to force his way into that title picture. A win over Ferguson here would be massive for him. He’s had step up fights before (Edgar, Holloway etc) and lost but this feels like his time. If he’s ever going to break through to that next level, now is his best chance. He’s 31 now, he’s matured as a fighter, he’s in top form and he’s confident. It’s time for him to jump in the deep end at 155 and see what happens. Really love this fight. Only negative I can find is that it’s only 3 rounds but whatever. I’ll take it. Easily one of the fights I’m most excited about on the horizon.

 

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Mackenzie Dern vs Virna Jandiroba. I actually love this fight. Great little piece of matchmaking. Everyone knows Dern’s bread and butter is in the grappling. She’s got all kinds of accolades in BJJ. Her transition to MMA wasn’t always smooth but she’s gone 9-1 overall with 6 submissions and she’s responded well since the loss to Amanda Ribas, rattling off first round submissions over Hannah Cifers and Randa Markos and bagging herself POTN bonuses both times. What I love about this though is Jandiroba is all about the grappling as well. She’s a BJJ black-belt in her own right, 16-1 with 13 submissions and she looked a fucking beast on the ground breezing through Felice Herrig in about 2 minutes in her last fight. She’s not as decorated in BJJ as Dern is but I’m really interested to see how her ground game matches up with Dern’s. And when you mix in strikes that could be the game changer that closes that gap. Can’t wait for this one.

 

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Jacare Souza vs Kevin Holland. Should be a good fight this. Was meant to be Jacare vs Marvin Vettori on this card and Holland was supposed to headline the Fight Night on December 5th against Jack Hermansson but we’ve had a switch. Holland tested positive for COVID and it’s thrown the whole thing out of whack. They’ve just swapped Vettori and Holland around. Vettori stepped in against Hermansson, Holland steps in here against Jacare. I actually think I prefer it this way around. It’s a solid fight. Just not sure what Jacare has left in the tank at this stage. He was one of the best Middleweights on the planet for years but he turns 41 just a few days before this show and he hasn’t looked too good in a while now. He’s 1-3 in his last 4 and even the win over Weidman, I recall thinking he was losing before he clobbered Weidman at the end. He tried to make a fresh start and moved up to 205 for his last fight but lost a lacklustre decision to the future champ Jan Blachowicz. Now he’s back at 185. He’s only been losing to top opposition but losses are losses and Jacare has started collecting them. As for Holland, I’ve liked what we’ve seen of him so far. He’s exciting to watch in the cage and he’s always got something to say when he gets some mic time. He’s on a 4 fight streak, has won 7 of his last 8 and he has a TKO win over Joaquin Buckley that’s aging better by the month. He obviously hasn’t mixed at the level Jacare has but maybe the timing of the matchup favours him being the younger, fresher fighter. I’m a fan of Holland but at the same time It’d be nice to see Jacare win this one. Yeah, there’s no real upside to him winning at this point but he’s one of MMA’s real good guys and I can’t bring myself to root against him.

 

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Junior Dos Santos vs Ciryl Gane. For all the shit the Heavyweight division gets, every now and then it’ll throw up a cracker. This is a really fun clash of two different eras. JDS has obviously seen better days. He’s definitely not the force he was about a decade ago but he’s still a good fighter and certainly not shot. It’s still a significant step up in levels for Gane. He’s looked great so far. There’s still a long way to go and questions to be asked. I’m not saying he’ll beat Stipe or anything. But I like what we’ve seen so far and I think he might just be the best Heavyweight prospect in the game right now. He’s 6-0 with 5 finishes. A good technical striker but also mixes in submissions really well, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect out of a 6’5” French Kickboxer. I just hope this fight actually happens. Gane’s had zero luck this year. He’s had 5 fights scheduled this year and all of them got cancelled. And 4 of the cancellations were down to his opponents pulling out. This year should’ve been huge for his development but he’s been forced to sit on the sidelines. It’s an interesting one though because now he’s basically skipped a couple of levels. Going from planned fights with the likes of Abdurakhimov, Pavlovich and Delija to JDS is quite a jump.

 

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Cub Swanson vs Daniel Pineda. Well up for this. Love watching Cub fight. We haven’t seen him in over a year. If you remember he beat Kron Gracie in a cracking fight last October and looked better than he has in some time. I was hoping he’d be able to build on that momentum but with the layoff since it’s pretty much gone. Hopefully the rest has done him good anyway. He’s had some wars. He’s 37 now so you have to think this is a ‘last run’ thing. Pineda is 35 with a 27-13-2 record. Very mixed results over the years and he’s bounced around a bunch of promotions from UFC, Bellator, PFL, LFA. He came back to the UFC in the summer though and derailed Herbert Burns big time, TKOing him. Should be a good scrap. I’m hoping Swanson gets the W and if they were both at their best I’d pick him all day. But neither have been too consistent when it’s come to wins and losses in recent years.

 

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Renato Moicano vs Rafael Fiziev. This was meant to go down on the Nov 28th card but Moicano got the positive for COVID so it’s been moved here. That card’s loss is this card’s gain. Should be quality. It shows just how deep the Lightweight division really is that two fighters of this quality aren’t even in the mix. Moicano had some real success at 145 beating the likes of Calvin Kattar, Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens. He was also giving Brian Ortega hell in their fight before Ortega caught him in a late submission. He moved up to 155 earlier this year after a couple of losses and quickly subbed Damir Hadzovic in under a minute. He’s legit. Fiziev is from Kazakhstan and is a teammate of current Bantamweight champ Petr Yan. He’s 8-1 and comes into this fight off his most impressive Octagon performance to date, a convincing and punishing points win over Marc Diakiese in July. He also had success as a Kickboxer and was nicknamed ‘Muay Thai Matrix’ due to him pulling off nifty defensive techniques like this...

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Cool as fuck. He did that a few times in the Diakiese fight as well. So yeah, I dig this fight. Moicano has had mixed results against top level opposition but I rate him and I’m interested to see how he does at 155 going forward. And Fiziev is just so much fun to watch and I’m not sure where his ceiling is. I’d have to favour Moicano in this one though. If there’s a weakness in Fiziev it’s the grappling, and Moicano has that shit down.

 

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Billy Quarantillo vs Gavin Tucker. This’ll probably go under the radar a little bit but I quite like this. Quarantillo is a New Yorker who came through DWCS a while back and he’s been doing well. He’s 15-2, 3-0 in the UFC and on an 8 fight win streak. He sparked Kyle Nelson with a big one punch KO in his last fight in September. Tucker is Canadian, 12-1 and comes in off back-to-back submissions over Justin Jaynes and Seung Woo Choi. Real good matchup this. They both seem like young prospects but they’re 31 and 34 respectively. Both look on top form though and I’m expecting an action-packed fight. Although it’ll understandably get lost in the shuffle on a card like this.

 

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Tecia Torres vs Sam Hughes then. Was meant to be Torres in a rematch against Angela Hill but, you guessed it, Hill got COVID. I very rarely enjoy a Torres fight. Don’t think I’ve got into a fight she’s had since that awesome battle with Rose Namajunas in Invicta when they were both just starting out. Ever since then I’ve found her fights pretty much always turn out to be dull cage clinching, tippy  tappy affairs where not a lot actually happens. She’s not a bad fighter, she’s just not much fun to watch. For someone nicknamed the ‘Tiny Tornado’ she doesn’t do much damage. Hughes is stepping in on about a week’s notice. Never heard of her but the reaction I’ve seen on social media to her signing has been pretty positive. Looking her up she’s 28 years old, only been fighting a year or so and has a record of 5-1 and 4 finishes.

 

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Chase Hooper vs Peter Barrett. Decent. Hooper came into the UFC with a bit of hype this year due to him being so young and having that old ‘nerd who can fight’ thing going on. He’s only just turned 21 years old. Seems a likeable guy. Reminds me a bit of Joe Lauzon when he first popped up. He’s 9-1-1 now and coming off his first loss against Alex Caceres in June. Still think he’s got potential. Way too soon to write him off. But getting outclassed by Caceres isn’t a great sign. He’s got time to improve though and I’m interested to see what adjustments he might’ve made. Barrett is 34 from the Boston area, 11-4 and lost to Youssef Zalal in his UFC debut recently. Don’t remember seeing that. I’d like to see Hooper get back to winning ways here.


 

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Edited by wandshogun09
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Saturday 12th December. The UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Last PPV of 2020 and it’s a beauty. PPV MAIN CARD Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno - Flyweight Title Tony Ferguson vs Charles Oli

😂 To be fair, it was a pretty safe bet that if this went any significant length of time it would be something like that. There’s very few things you can count on in MMA but with a fight between Figuei

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Fuck the fuck off. More card changes than Del Boy at a poker game lately.

Hopefully, it turns out to be false. It’s not been picked up by any of the bigger MMA media sources yet and both Sterling and Helwani have tweeted suggesting the fight is going ahead as normal with no mention of postponements just hours ago.

 

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43 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

Ferguson/Oliveira isnt strong enough to headline a PPV is it? May make it a fight night.

I take it you haven’t watched 255 yet, Ebb? There’s already another headliner for this in the works but it spoils one of the fights last night so I’m going to wait to edit the opening post here. 

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  • wandshogun09 changed the title to UFC 256: Figueiredo vs Moreno - Dec 12 🇺🇸
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Was going to hold off a day or two longer for anyone who still hasn’t seen 255 yet but Kfogg’s let the cat out of the bag and, to be fair, it’s all over the MMA sites and social media now anyway.

King Figgy saves the day. 

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23 hours ago, wandshogun09 said:

I take it you haven’t watched 255 yet, Ebb? There’s already another headliner for this in the works but it spoils one of the fights last night so I’m going to wait to edit the opening post here. 

nope, and the change of title spoiled it for me, was tied up yesterday 😄 planned on watching it tonight after work. Its no worries though, bit of a unique situation, and my fault for being slow.

Edited by Egg Shen
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FUCK i'm so sorry if i spoiled it for anyone, I can promise you that was never my intention!!! 

WOW though this has to be a first even for the ufc for 1 fighter to not only main event 2 simultaneous UFC ppv's but also defend the belt both times....It has to be a first surely!!

I can't wait for this main event though after seeing both men last weekend this has the hallmarks to be a war. however i see it going exactly the same way for figgy he is just another breed 

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3 hours ago, Kfogg1991 said:

WOW though this has to be a first even for the ufc for 1 fighter to not only main event 2 simultaneous UFC ppv's but also defend the belt both times....It has to be a first surely!!

Tito Ortiz headlined UFC 29 and 30 and defended the belt both times but obviously that was waaay back. And at least there was a couple of months between those shows rather than the 3 weeks Figueiredo and Moreno are doing. I don’t think they give a shite. I get the feeling these two would’ve gone back in the cage and fought again at UFC 255 the other night if they were allowed to.

I feel like I’m forgetting another obvious example of a fighter headlining back-to-back PPVs and now it’s going to bug me. 

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