After both athletes accepted the headline slot just 21 days after they competed at UFC 255, Figueiredo and Moreno brought the best out of each other as they battled it out in a back-and-forth war for all 25 minutes. When it was over, the judges scored the fight 48-46 for Figueiredo with two more scorecards returned 47-47, which meant the bout was declared a majority draw.
While it was a close contest throughout, a point deduction in the third round after Figueiredo was penalized for a low blow ultimately led to the draw but the reigning flyweight champion placed no blame on referee Jason Herzog for the outcome.
“The referee did his job,” Figueiredo said following the fight. “I was able to go in there and put on a good fight. I fought all five rounds and I think it was a good performance.”
Like a bull charging a matador, Figueiredo was looking to bully Moreno after stomping across the octagon and immediately launching a barrage of heavy punches. Moreno avoided taking any serious damage before circling away where he connected with several good counter shots of his own.
Figueiredo refused to back down as he continued to stalk Moreno while throwing with devastating power behind every strike. In return, Moreno was quick on his feet as he concentrated on making Figueiredo pay every time he got a little too aggressive.
The relentless pace didn’t slow down with Figueiredo just blitzing Moreno with combinations to the head and the body. The wild exchanges continued with the Brazilian aiming for a knockout with every punch thrown while Moreno was quick to fire back to match him strike for strike
The flyweights continued to just blast away at each other until Figueiredo threw a kick that blasted Moreno in the cup and sent the former Ultimate Fighter contender down to the ground in a heap. As he was obviously struggling to recover from the low blow, referee Jason Herzog took a point away from the champion as penalty for the illegal shot.
Moreno not only recovered but he looked to turn the momentum in his favor by coming after Figueiredo and inviting him into the exchanges as he looked to wear down the Brazilian God of War. Of course every time Moreno seemingly had Figueiredo in trouble, the incumbent champion clawed his way back into the fight with brutal power behind his punches.
With five minutes remaining, Moreno’s output slowed significantly and it appeared his left arm may have been injured. Knowing that Moreno might be compromised, Figueiredo turned up the pressure but despite his best efforts, he couldn’t get the stoppage as the judges began tallying their scorecards after the fight came to a close.
Following the conclusion of the fight, Moreno said it was actually his shoulder that was bothering him after throwing so many hard jabs over five rounds but he’s anxious to heal up so he can face Figueiredo again.
“I know the fight was very, very close,” Moreno said. :At the end of the round, I tried to take Figueiredo down but this happens. I know I’m fine. I’m enjoying this moment too much. I feel so happy. I know I wanted the belt but it is what it is.
“We need a rematch. We need that rematch. For me, for Figueiredo, for the fans, for everybody.”
For his part, Figueiredo appeared game to accept that challenge, although after back-to-back fights over the past three weeks, he mostly seemed ready to return home to see his family.
“If they want to put him in front of me next fight, I’m open to that,” Figueiredo said. “Maybe with a full training camp, I’ll be able to neutralize his game.”