Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will meet again in 2021 after delivering a thriller at UFC 256, dividing many on the outcome while viewers resoundingly agreed that the brutal encounter had been an instant classic.
The bruising battle had the rare distinction of producing a draw decision that was not unanimously contentious among fans, a number of whom accepted that the pair had been impossible to split across five gruelling rounds.
Moreno won the second round with two takedowns before spending several minutes on the canvas after a low blow from Figueiredo in the thrid round, causing referee Jason Herzog to deduct a point from the champion.
Despite being taken to hospital at 2am the previous morning with a stomach infection that he reportedly said had been caused by food poisoning, the “God of War” finished strongly by landing a takedown in the final seconds of the fight.
A GREAT fight. A majority draw between The champ #Figueiredo retains his Flyweight title versus #Moreno. #UFC256#UFC#FigueiredoMoreno#UFCapexpic.twitter.com/KeJZx7TJZS
Figueiredo said he was in the hospital with a stomach infection until 2 a.m. last night. He put himself through hell and came out unscathed. 2020 was the God of War’s year.
Figueiredo was in the hospital last night until 2a with a possible stomach infection. As if the performance wasn’t impressive enough. #UFC256
The 32-year-old was then pictured by his manager, Wallid Ismail, being wheeled horizontally into hospital again.
“We throw the words around a lot but these two are, seriously, f*cking savages,” said UFC Dana White, confirming that a rematch would “absolutely, positively” happen in 2021.
“Both of these guys are absolute savages – incredible performance. I had Figueiredo winning the fight: the point deduction turned the whole fight.
Me after any minor adversity: I’m done, nothing makes sense, I give up on laughter and joyBrandon Moreno after taking everything Deiveson Figueiredo could offer in literally every part of his body and pulling off a heroic comeback only to still not get the title: pic.twitter.com/t0hZ4cVeQe
Deiveson Figueiredo went to war tonight. “Proud of this warrior,” wrote his manager Wallid Ismail on Instagram. pic.twitter.com/90QQ4w4i49
One of the greatest fights I’ve ever seen!!! Rematch needed asap
“He didn’t feel good in the middle of the night last night, so he went to the hospital. We asked him, ‘do you want to fight or do you not want to fight? It’s up to you.’
“He was obviously cleared medically but he had the option…and he wanted to fight.”
Figueiredo was fighting just three weeks after beating Alex Perez in the first round of their meeting at UFC 255, while Moreno needed less than three minutes on the same night to defeat Brandon Royval, who suffered a gruesome shoulder dislocation.
Let’s never hear talk about getting rid of the flyweight division ever again. Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno just put on an all time classic. A fight of the year contender. Incredible. #UFC256
A lot of us are talking about this being Fight of the Year but we should also be talking about Deiveson Figueiredo being Fighter of the Year. Even though this was a draw, he still walked away with the title after a record breaking 2020.#UFC254
“We were saying, halfway through the fight, ‘this could definitely end up being a draw’, when they took the point,” revealed White.
“You never know with these judges. The ref said it was the third foul. Normally, in a case like that, he’d be warned, but the ref felt he had to get control of the fight and stop Figueiredo poking him in the eyes, stop kicking him in the nuts.
“They’ve got nothing but time – they can take as much time as they need. It’s another fun fight for us all to look forward to in 2021.”