UFC 256: Figueiredo vs Moreno – Main Card Predictions

A historic three-week turnaround for the top two flyweights in the organisation as Deiveson Figueiredo defends his title against Brandon Moreno in the main event.

It’s the fourth title fight that has been scheduled for this event after Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns and Amanda Nunes vs Megan Anderson fell through, before replacement bout Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling also fell out.

In the co-main event, two of the most exciting lightweights in the world look to stake their claim at the next title shot as Tony Ferguson takes on Charles Oliveira in what will be a three round war.

Last week we had a bit of a meh showing in the predictions. Three fights were cancelled on fight night, meaning we were left with just eight fights on the night. We successfully picked five of them correctly, although no perfect picks fell our way.

This takes our total up to 181/282 correct picks (64.18%) with 80 correct picks (44.2%). Lets see if we can improve that on this card. The prelims have already been predicted here, so lets move forward with the main card.

MAIN CARD

Junior Dos Santos (21-8) vs Ciryl Gane (6-0) – (Heavyweight/220-265lbs)

A big heavyweight clash between former UFC champion Junior Dos Santos and top prospect Cyril Gane which could prove to be a passing of the guard. Dos Santos has lost his last three fights in a row having been knocked out by all of Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik most recently in August. Gane hasn’t fought since December last year but has had some fights fall through this year due to the COVID pandemic. Dos Santos is a striker by nature and will come forward looking to take Gane’s head off in boxing range, while Gane is a powerhouse who’s submission skills are highly impressive. Gane packs a lot of power on the feet too and with where they are in their careers right now, I can’t look past a huge win for the undefeated fighter.
PICK – Ciryl Gane via Knockout, Round 1

Kevin Holland (20-5) vs Jacare Souza (26-8) – (Middleweight/185lbs)

A short notice fight between the emerging middleweight ‘Trailblazer’ Kevin Holland as he takes on the veteran that is Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza. Souza was originally due to fight Marvin Vettori, who stepped into last week’s UFC Vegas 16 main event in place of Kevin Holland. Holland is 4-0 in 2020 with wins over Anthony Hernandez, Joaquin Buckley, Darren Stewart and Charlie Ontiveros. Souza has lost three of his last four and this will be his first fight of 2020. He is a tremendous grappler with great wrestling and submissions, but is known to struggle against speed and power punchers which is what Holland is. Holland’s wins haven’t come against the greatest of opposition but a 41 year old Souza who is now unranked is hardly the greatest jump in calibre. A close fight will ensue but if Holland can use his physicality and speed well, he should pick up a win here.
PICK – Kevin Holland via Decision

Mackenzie Dern (9-1) vs Virna Jandiroba (16-1) – (Strawweight/115lbs)

A tremendous grappling affair awaits between the strawweights best ground fighters. Mackenzie Dern has won her last two fights via submission in the first round, but her only defeat came against another talented grappler in Amanda Ribas. Jandiroba’s wrestling game has been hugely impressive in the UFC and she dominated her way to a submission win over Felice Herrig in August. Jandiroba is a superb jiu-jitsu practitioner in her own right which should help her defensively when she looks for takedowns and top control. Dern’s got a better chance on the feet as she carries great power in her right hand and Jandiroba’s striking is awful but the wrestling differential should be enough to get her to a decision win.
PICK – Virna Jandiroba via Decision

Tony Ferguson (25-4) vs Charles Oliveira (29-8) – (Lightweight/155lbs)

Fight of the night right here. ‘El Cucuy’ is the master of mixed martial arts, with unbelievable jiu-jitsu and crazy power in his hands he saw an eight-year, 12-fight win streak come to an end in May against Justin Gaethje. Oliveira is on a seven-fight win streak having submitted Kevin Lee back in March last time out via a guillotine. While Ferguson has phenomenal jiu-jitsu, Oliveira is better. He has the most submission wins in UFC history but his struggles tend to come against pressure fighters, something that is essentially guaranteed when fighting Ferguson. Ferguson is a powerful striker with wild technique and accuracy and is good enough on the mat to hold his own, so it’s hard to see past Ferguson being able to land enough damage with strikes to either get a TKO or land a decision win.
PICK – Tony Ferguson via Knockout, Round 2

Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1) vs Brandon Moreno (18-5-1) – (Flyweight/125lbs)

The scariest flyweight of all-time takes on the number one contender as Deiveson Figueiredo takes on Brandon Moreno in the final title fight of 2020. Both fighters last competed at UFC 255 just three weeks ago, with Figueiredo submitting Alex Perez and Moreno TKO’ing Brandon Royval following a shoulder separation, both in the first round. Figueiredo can knock you out with one punch, or jump on one mistake to submit you instantly. Moreno is a stunning grappler who has 11 submission wins in his career, but we saw against Royval that he can strike. That said, Figueiredo is just on a different level right now. The ‘God of War’ is so powerful and so in the zone right now, I can’t look past him against any flyweight in the organisation right now. Moreno is looking for the biggest upset of 2020, but I can’t see it.
PICK – Deiveson Figueiredo via Knockout, Round 1

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