David Becker/Associated Press
The UFC closed out its final pay-per-view of 2020 with a late contender for Fight of the Year. Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno put on one of the best fights in the history of the flyweight division that ended in a majority draw.
Figueiredo took the early lead in an action-packed opening round with the second playing out mostly the same. Both fighters were active early and throwing heavy leather with bad intentions.
However, the third round is where things really got interesting. The champion landed an unintentional low kick that landed flush and had Moreno on the ground for the majority of the five minutes he was afforded to recover by the rules.
Ultimately, Jason Herzog took a point that set the stage for Moreno’s comeback. The challenger came back swinging and landed enough offense to make the next two rounds interesting and swing the momentum back in his favor.
There was no shortage of praise for both combatants as both threw and absorbed huge shots over the five rounds.
Here’s a look at the complete results from a great night of fights in Vegas.
- Deiveson Figueiredo (c) vs. Brandon Moreno ends in majority draw (47-47, 47-47, 47-46)
- Charles Oliveira def. Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
- Mackenzie Dern def. Virna Jandiroba by unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Kevin Holland def. Ronaldo Souza by KO (punches) at 1:45 of Round 2
- Cyril Gane def. Junior dos Santos by TKO (elbow and punches) at 2:34 of Round 2
- Cub Swanson def. Daniel Pineda by KO (punches) at 1:52 of Round 2
- Rafael Fiziev def. Renato Moicano by KO (punches) at 4:05 of Round 1
- Gavin Tucker def. Billy Quarantillo by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Tecia Torres def. Sam Hughes by TKO (eye injury) at 5:00 of Round 1
- Chase Hooper def. Peter Barrett by submission (heel hook) at 3:02 of Round 3
Charles Oliveira def. Tony Ferguson
On paper, the co-main event was supposed to be the best fight of the night. It wasn’t. It was a one-sided beatdown and Oliveira was the one doing the beating.
Oliveira extended his winning streak to eight by taking Ferguson to school in both the standup and the ground game. Do Bronx had no issues taking El Cucuy to the ground and even locked in an armbar that would have made the vast majority of fighters tap.
To Ferguson’s credit, he didn’t tap. But he might as well have with the amount of offense he was able to muster in the subsequent two rounds. Oliveira dominated him in all three rounds to pick up a statement win.
With Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier expected to fight in January, an unofficial lightweight tournament could be playing out. It makes all the sense in the world to put Oliveira against the winner to determine the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s belt after the Russian announced his retirement.
Mackenzie Dern def. Virna Jandiroba
Both Mackenzie Dern and Virna Jandiroba have established themselves as viable threats on the ground. However, the fight between the two strawweights was determined on the feet.
Dern earned the nod in the first round by being the more aggressive striker. It wasn’t always pretty, but she charged forward and landed some strikes despite getting her takedown attempts stuffed.
The turning point came in the second round when Jandiroba landed a knee that possibly broke Dern’s nose:
However, she showcased some heart and toughness by coming out and winning the third round. Dern is now 5-1 in the UFC with three wins since losing an unanimous decision to Amanda Ribas.
Her submission game has always made her an interesting prospect, so it’s encouraging to see her rely on her striking to pick up a win.
Kevin Holland def. Jacare Souza
Kevin Holland made one last statement to be the breakout fighter of the year in 2020 with an incredibly unique knockout. The 28-year-old was taken down by Souza but knocked out the veteran off his back as Jacare was transitioning back to the feet.
The win was the fifth of the year for Holland. He became just the third fighter in UFC history to win five fights in a calendar year and he didn’t get started until May.
With a reach of 81″ and a well-rounded mix of grappling and striking Holland has shown tremendous upside in the middleweight division.
Not only will this fight be embedded as part of his highlight reel but it gives him real credibility. Souza is no longer in the prime of his career, but he is still an accomplished jiu-jitsu practitioner. Even though Souza got the fight where he wanted, Holland still picked up the win.
Ciryl Gane def. Junior dos Santos
Ciryl Gane extended his perfect record to 7-0 while adding a former UFC heavyweight champion in Junior dos Santos.
The French heavyweight hadn’t fought in nearly a year but showcased a technical striking repertoire. He chopped down Cigano with leg kicks before ultimately ending the fight with an elbow along the fence.
There were moments where it looked like the Junior dos Santos of old. Then came hard strikes from Gane and another stark reminder that the 36-year-old Dos Santos isn’t the same fighter that once won the heavyweight championship.
While JDS might not have much chin left in the wake of a four-fight win streak the strike Gane ended the fight with would have put down most heavyweights. He landed the elbow right behind the ear which is generally an automatic knockout.
Gane should continue to take on bigger fights as he is the rare technical striker in the heavyweight division.