Tag Archives: Flyweight

UFC 270: Flyweight title trilogy fight will see final form of both fighters

The first pay-per-view of 2022 will feature two title fights headlining the event, with the smallest and biggest men in the company defending their belts.

In the flyweight division, we’ll the trilogy bout between now-champion Brandon Moreno as he defends his title for the first time when he takes on Deiveson Figueiredo for the third time in a row.

The previous two fights have been very different bouts, but this one will settle once and for all who the best 125-pound fighter in the world is.

The first fight between the two took place on less than one month’s notice back in December 2020 at UFC 256.

After both picked up quick wins at UFC 255 with Moreno stopping Brandon Royval and Figueiredo defending his title successfully against Alex Perez, the UFC moved quickly to pair them up for the following event after having trouble with that main event.

Both men stepped up to the plate and delivered a brilliant fight that went down as one of the best of the year. Ultimately it ended in a draw, which saw Figueiredo retain the belt and a rematch made.

But that first fight, while close, would have been a victory for Figueiredo had he not been deducted a point for a low blow.

Now obviously that was deserved, because the low blow was vicious and altered the pattern of the fight according to the referee. But it’s important to remember that even with that, the judges scored it 3-2 to the Brazilian.

The rematch at UFC 263 was a completely different story though, and Moreno knew exactly what he needed to do.

He came in more aggressive than ever, was sharper on the feet and not afraid of the power that stood opposite him. He also knew that he had an advantage when it came to his gas tank and grappling and used it to full effect to secure a third-round rear-naked choke submission win.

There was a new champion, but also now the strange development of a third bout with the score being 1-0 in wins officially.

As we enter UFC 270 now, there are no more excuses for either fighter. We’ll call it 1-1 for the sake of the fact it’s likely to be a final decider between them and they’ve felt the strengths of the other.

Figueiredo looks to be in the best shape of his career, while Moreno knows exactly what he needs to do to beat him again. It’s the two best flyweight fighters in the world, going head-to-head in their prime for all the bragging rights.


There is every chance that this will be the best of the trilogy, with an all-out war ready to explode. There is still respect between them, but the trash talk has been upped a little and both guys feel they have a point to prove over the other.

Be prepared for the greatest flyweight title fight of all time at UFC 270, between two guys at the absolute peak of their powers.


Who will be a male UFC champion at the end of 2022?

The UFC returns to title fights this weekend at UFC 270 when the heavyweights and flyweight strap is on the line.

Both of those belts changed hands in 2021, as Francis Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 and Brandon Moreno submitted Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 263.

We also saw a new bantamweight, lightweight and light heavyweight champion crowned during the year, so how will 2022 pan out? Lets take a look.

Flyweight (125lbs) – Askar Askarov

Flyweight is one of the better divisions in the UFC right now and I think we’ll once again see a new champion crowned at some point in 2022.

Askar Askarov has been undefeated throughout his career with a 14-0-1 record, with the only draw coming in his UFC debut against… Brandon Moreno. Askarov will get his title shot by the end of the year, and his wrestling is too good for anyone to be able to navigate past him so I think he holds the belt come 2023.

Bantamweight (135lbs) – Petr Yan

The only reason Yan isn’t the champion right now is because he got over excited and threw a knee to a downed Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259. He was winning the first fight quite comfortably at the time, so the fight was re-made for later in the year.

Sterling was forced to withdraw and it’s now set for UFC 273 in April, which means Yan will head into the summer as champ. He’ll likely defend the strap at the end of the year against TJ Dillashaw in a brilliant fight, but I think he edges that and takes a huge boost in credibility this year.

Featherweight (145lbs) – Max Holloway

What a division, and what a title fight that awaits us later this year.

Alexander Volkanovski defended the belt successfully in 2021 with a dominant win over Brian Ortega at UFC 266 and was set to fight Max Holloway at UFC 272 until the Hawaiian got injured and saw it get cancelled.

If Volk can see off the Korean Zombie at UFC 273 now in the new bout, he will face off against Holloway at some point in 2022 and I think ‘Blessed’ finally gets his win over the Aussie to reclaim the title.

Lightweight (155lbs) – Islam Makhachev

Arguably the most exciting division in the company right now when it comes to the title picture, I’m predicting yet another new champion at lightweight.

Charles Oliveira claimed the crown at UFC 262 when he beat Michael Chandler, then defended it successfully when he submitted Dustin Poirier at UFC 269. He’ll now fight Justin Gaethje at some point in 2022, and the winner will fight the winner of Beneil Dariush vs Islam Makhachev at UFC Vegas 49 in February.

I think Makhachev gets the victory there, then gets the victory in the title fight too to fulfil Khabib Nurmagomedov’s prophecy that he will become champion and rule over the division for a long time to come.

Kamaru Usman of Nigeria reacts after his victory over Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 258 event...

Welterweight (170lbs) – Kamaru Usman

The best in the world right now pound-for-pound, and I don’t see that changing in 2022.

Usman went 3-0 in 2021 with wins over Gilbert Burns at UFC 258, Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 and Colby Covington at UFC 268 and is now not expected to return to the cage until the summer.

That means one or two fights at most this year, with Leon Edwards certainly one of them, and I don’t see him losing to anyone so soon so I think he holds onto the belt yet again.

Middleweight (185lbs) – Israel Adesanya

The best middleweight in the world and one of the best of all-time, Israel Adesanya will be the 185-pound champion when we enter 2023.

His biggest test will come in February when he faces Robert Whittaker in a rematch at UFC 271, which I think he’ll win again. With that said though, a loss will almost certainly result in a rematch later in the year with their personal series set at 1-1 and he’d then reclaim the belt there.

Either way, ‘The Last Stylebender’ will be the champ when 2022 closes.

Light Heavyweight (205lbs) – Jiri Prochazka

This division isn’t particularly stacked at the top end but one thing it does have is a pathway for the title picture.

Glover Teixeira dethroned Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267 to finally claim the strap, but it feels short-lived because he’s due to take on the killing machine that is Jiri Prochazka next and that means he probably gets violently finished.

Aleksandar Rakic and Magomed Ankalaev are likely to find themselves in contention too by the end of the year, but stylistically none of them suit a fight with ‘Denisa’ and he holds the throne until 2023.

Jiri Prochazka of the Czech Republic poses on the scale during the UFC 267 official weigh-in at Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island on October 29, 2021 in...

Heavyweight (265lbs) – Ciryl Gane

The big boys are in the best shape they’ve been in, maybe ever, in the UFC right now and it’s created arguably an amazing year in the division in 2022.

Ciryl Gane will take on Francis Ngannou this weekend and a fight with Jon Jones seemingly awaits the winner. Stipe Miocic is likely to return at some point this year too and head for the title once again.

With Miocic back as well as Jones and Ngannou’s contract situations there are plenty of routes to the title this year, but ultimately they all end with ‘Bon Gamin’ as the heavyweight champion of the world heading into 2023.

Who will be a female UFC Champion at the end of 2022?

The UFC will see it’s first two title fights of 2022 this weekend at UFC 270 and while the women won’t be involved, it’s a huge year for them too.

Last year we saw two of the four belts change hands, with Rose Namajunas claiming the strawweight belt for a second time with a head-kick KO win over Weili Zhang at UFC 261, while Julianna Pena shocked the world at UFC 269 when she submitted Amanda Nunes.

During our picks for 2021 we predicted no changes, so obviously only got a 50% hit rate. Can we do better for 2022?

Strawweight (115lbs) – Rose Namajunas

‘Thug’ Rose made waves in 2021, returning to champion status with a win over Zhang and then winning their rematch at UFC 268 a few months later too.

With two wins over Zhang and already holding two wins over Joana Jedrzejczyzk from her previous title reign, that’s the other elite talents in the division dealt with.

Carla Esparza, who beat Namajunas in the TUF finale to win the inaugral belt for this division, is confirmed as her next challenger and if she can navigate that fight as expected then she is set for a long and successful reign as champion.

I think that carries over into 2023 and she claims G.O.A.T status among the strawweights.

Rose Namajunas reacts against Zhang Weili in their strawweight title bout during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021 in...

Flyweight (125lbs) – Valentina Shevchenko

The pound-for-pound best female fighter on the planet, Valentina Shevchenko first won the belt in 2018 and she hasn’t looked back since.

She went 2-0 in 2021 with stoppage wins over Jessica Andrade at UFC 261 before another KO win over Lauren Murphy at UFC 266 to continue her dominant run as the queen of 125lbs.

There’s nobody close to her level at her weight class, so barring a crazy shock she will hold that belt until she retires probably.

Bantamweight (135lbs) – Amanda Nunes

The greatest female fighter of all-time saw her 12-fight winning streak snapped at UFC 269 at the end of the year by Julianna Pena but the world is ready for a rematch.

While Pena will likely be taken far more seriously by the fans in the build-up to that bout, it also means that she will likely be taken more seriously by the ‘Lioness’ and that screams ‘and new!’.

Nunes gets her win back at some point in the summer, then sees out the year as the champion yet again. Normality is restored in the women’s MMA world.

Amanda Nunes of Brazil and Julianna Pena meet during their UFC bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 269 on December 11, 2021 in Las Vegas,...

Featherweight (145lbs) – Discontinued

A interesting one, but I can’t see how the featherweight division survives another calendar year.

Nunes has been the champion since knocking out Cris ‘Cyborg’ back in 2018 and has defended the belt successfully twice since then. But there are no contenders and the division barely exists.

Felicia Spencer was the obvious choice to challenge, but she had already lost to Nunes and has now retired from the sport. Kayla Harrison could come into the UFC for a mega fight, but the division would have the same problems and I think it gets shut down by the end of 2022.

UFC Vegas 46 Fallout: Kattar shows the levels, Chookagian dilemma

The UFC returned with a spectacular main event in a rather disappointing ten-fight card at UFC Vegas 46 as Calvin Kattar returned to the win column with a bang.

Kattar returned after a year out of the octagon to take on Giga Chikadze in a featherweight main event that had fireworks written all over it.

It delivered too, in a superb five-round war that had everything except a finish going for it to set the bar high for the fight of the night in 2022.

Chikadze started the fight exceedingly well, landing hard body kicks and sharp right hands, before he threw a kick and slipped which allowed Kattar to step in and grapple with him.

After that though, Kattar was completely dominant for the next four rounds. He applied a crazy high pace and pressure to shut the distance down, not allowing Chikadze to throw kicks.

He landed heavy strikes, which later turned to elbows to cause further damage while also mixing in takedowns to keep Chikadze honest.

The Georgian gave it everything, landing some huge shots of his own but Kattar once again showed his chin and managed to secure a huge unanimous decision victory.

The win keeps him in the top five of the division and with three of the five guys above him getting title shots recently, and the other being Yair Rodriguez who is coming off a loss, Kattar has a real chance of title contention this year.

A fight against either Rodriguez or Brian Ortega seems like the fight to make going forward, if we don’t see Ortega vs Rodriguez instead, and a win could catapult him into the title contender position.

A bit earlier on the card was a women’s flyweight contender fight between Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia, that produced a fun, back-and-forth bout between two top five 125-pounders.

Chookagian picked up the unanimous decision win, just as she did back at UFC 244 in their first fight, but following the event she revealed in the press conference that that was the final fight of her contract.

Speaking to the media, Chookagian claimed that she wanted to renegotiate her deal with the organisation before the Maia fight but they told her that they wanted her to fight out her current deal instead before they spoke.

With the win, she tied champion Valentina Shevchenko for the most wins in the division’s history (8) and will likely move into the number one spot in the rankings, above Jessica Andrade, setting her up for a rematch against ‘Bullet’.

But the UFC don’t seem convinced that is the route they want to go in, and with Chookagian out of contract it doesn’t make sense to renew her deal if they don’t intend on giving her a title shot when she’s clearly the top contender.

It’s a dilemma, because at that weight class she is among the best there is but she’s still some way off the champion and that makes her dispensable in the organisations eyes.

Cody Garbrandt can prove flyweight is his perfect weight class

It’s been a long time coming, but Cody Garbrandt’s move down to flyweight finally becomes official this weekend at UFC 269.

The former bantamweight champion has been in a slump at 135lbs since losing his belt, losing four of his last fight fights with three of them coming via stoppage.

This weekend though he looks to find a new home at 125lbs when he takes on Kai-Kara France on the main card live on the final pay-per-view event of the year.

This change was supposed to happen in 2020, when Garbrandt was scheduled to face off against Deiveson Figueiredo for the flyweight title at UFC 255.

Injury forced him to withdraw and after a win over Alex Perez, Figueiredo ended up taking on Brandon Moreno the following month and is now embroiled in a trilogy for the belt.

The delay meant that Gabrandt instead opted to remain at bantamweight for a bout with Rob Font, where he was dominated by a jab for five rounds en route to a defeat.

Now with moving down in weight, ‘No Love’ is hoping he can find a home with the smaller guys and make a charge for the belt once again.

Gabrandt’s punching power often saw him considered as one of the scariest bantamweights in the division, but as he engaged with the elites of the weight class we saw him fold on more occasions than he would have ever wanted.

At 5ft 8′ with a 65.5 inch reach, Garbrandt fits in pretty well at 125lbs. By comparison, champion Moreno stands at 5ft 7′ with a 70 inch reach and Figueiredo stands at 5ft 5 with a 68 inch reach. He was always a small bantamweight.

With his brilliant boxing and fearsome power, mixed in with his elite wrestling background, Gabrandt has all the tools to be a real threat at flyweight and be one of the top names in the division.

But to get there, he must first defeat Kara-France at UFC 269 to put himself into the rankings conversation. If he can do that, which he feels he will be able to do with relative ease, then 2022 is set up for ‘No Love’.

Cody Garbrandt reacts to his victory over Dominick Cruz in their UFC bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 207 event at T-Mobile Arena on...

He’d enter the rankings at number six at least, and that means he’d likely be no more than two more wins away from a title shot. Considering he was already scheduled for one after snapping a three-fight losing skid at bantamweight though, don’t be surprised to see it come sooner.

He is supremely popular among fans, has a name that sells tickets and has show-closing power to put doubt into even the biggest Garbrandt hater’s mind.

Flyweight is the perfect division for Garbrandt, and UFC 269 is the perfect place to prove that heading into the new year.

UFC men’s weight classes – Ranked

It’s been a while since the UFC had it’s weight classes as stacked as they currently are across the landscape of the organisation.

With the way MMA is evolving currently, we’re seeing more and more fighters who can do everything to a super high level and that means that amazing fights can show up anywhere on the card, at any time!

But which divisions are the ones to really look out for and which are looking a little slim right now? I’ve ranked them from worst to best.

Light Heavyweight

A division that has just crowned a new champion is usually hard to say that it’s lacking depth, however 205lbs is in the worst state that it’s been for a while.

Teixeira is 42 years old and holds the belt, but beyond Jiri Prochazka, Magomed Ankalaev and Aleksandar Rakic there aren’t many guys in the division who you can see being among the top guys in a few years time.

Unless there’s an influx of talent out of nowhere, then it’s hard to imagine this division attracting many eyes going forward.


The top five in this division is stacked and in Israel Adesanya they have one of the most popular fighters in the world as their champion. But outside of that, the division looks a little stale.

Israel Adesanya reacts after defeating Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision in their interim middleweight championship bout during the UFC 236 event...

The top five can all fight each other and have mixed results for the most part, but Adesanya has largely cleaned up by beating four of them convincingly so it’s hard to look beyond him as being a level above the rest.

That makes the division a little less appealing and therefore sits low down on this list.


Flyweight never die! A super exciting division because of the speed of the guys in the division, but outside the top four or five there aren’t many guys that you can consider as contenders.

Moreno looks set to reign for a while after dispatching of Deiveson Figueiredo relatively easily so their rematch at UFC 270 is unlikely to be as eventful as their first two bouts. There are a few contenders beyond that but the lack of finishes in the division doesn’t really help either unfortunately and it’s unlikely you’ll see this division headlining a card on its own any time soon.


The big boys tend to fight at a slow pace and historically don’t make for the most exciting fights, but this new wave of heavyweights is the best in a long time.

Francis Ngannou of Cameroon poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The top of the division is full of exciting match ups, with the prospect of anyone ending a bout in the blink of an eye adding to the excitement. But on top of that, there are several young prospects coming through such as Tom Aspinall and Chris Daukaus while Ciryl Gane looks formidable too despite his lack of experience.

Don’t forget Francis Ngannou is the champion and could probably KO a horse, while Jon Jones is still waiting in the shadows to debut among the giants too.


This division would likely be even higher up in this list if it wasn’t for the fact that Kamaru Usman is just a level ahead of everyone. He’s beaten everyone there is to beat in his weight class, but the rest of the division is still absolutely stacked.

Covington would be champion in any other era, Leon Edwards has entered new territory with his abilities, Jorge Masvidal is a superstar that has transcended the sport, Gilbert Burns and ‘Wonderboy’ are in the conversation and Sean Brady is climbing his way up the ranks.

Don’t forget Khamzat Chimaev fights in this division too, so that’s always exciting.

Khamzat Chimaev of Chechnya prepares to fight Gerald Meerschaert in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September...


The top three starts at 145lbs with a division that has at least four guys who could be champion in any era. Alexander Volkanovski has proven he is the man with two wins over Max Holloway, but ‘Blessed’ continues to show he is the gold standard too.

Beyond them this division is home to the likes of Brian Ortega, Yair Rodriguez, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Korean Zombie, Calvin Kattar and now Dan Hooker too.

There a string of exciting fights plus prospects such as Arnold Allen, Giga Chikhadze and veteran Edson Barboza competing at this weight it’s always got fireworks waiting to go off.


This has been considered one of the best divisions in the organisation for a long time and it’s still as stacked as ever.

Dustin Poirier throws an elbow at Justin Gaethje in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Gila River Arena on April 14, 2018 in...

Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Islam Makhachev, Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, Conor McGregor, Rafael Dos Anjos, Beneil Dariush, Tony Ferguson, Brad Riddell, Rafael Fiziev, Joel Alvarez – the list goes on.

It’s almost impossible to make a bad fight at lightweight right now and they all have huge implications in some way or another. What a division.


Without a doubt in my mind, bantamweight is the place for you to place your attention if you want guaranteed entertainment in the UFC.

Aljamain Sterling is the champion and Petr Yan is interim champ, but the division also possesses the likes of Cory Sandhagen, TJ Dillashaw, Merab Dvalishvili, Rob Font, Jose Aldo in title contention. Then there are veterans like Frankie Edgar, Pedro Munhoz and Dominick Cruz looking to get back into contention.

Opponents Petr Yan of Russia and Aljamain Sterling face off prior to their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX...

Then beyond that you have the likes of Marlon Vera, Sean O’Malley, Adrian Yanez, Randy Costa and Song Yadong in the division you could quite easily create a top 30 rather than a top 15. It’s got everything and is comfortably the best division in the UFC right now.

Brandon Moreno vs Deiveson Figueiredo trilogy moved to UFC 270

The UFC have reshuffled their title picture and moved the flyweight trilogy rematch between Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo to the first pay-per-view of 2022.

Moreno and Figueiredo were scheduled to meet up in their third scrap for the 125lbs title at UFC 269 in December as one of three title fights, alongside lightweights Charles Oliveira vs Dustin Poirier and Amanda Nunes’ bantamweight defence against Julianna Pena.

However the UFC have now announced that Leon Edwards will fight Jorge Masvidal at the event in December and that has seen them shuffle some things around.

UFC 270 was set to see a double title fight headliner, with Francis Ngannou taking on Ciryl Gane in the heavyweight division and Israel Adesanya defending his middleweight title against Robert Whittaker.

But with Adesanya’s title defence moving to UFC 271 in February a slot has opened up in January for Moreno to move into.

According to other reports, the UFC is close to finalising Anaheim’s Honda Centre as the venue for the card and the chance to have Moreno make his first defence as champion closer to the Mexican border was appealing to the organisation.

Moreno became the UFC’s first Mexican-born champion when he submitted Figueiredo to win the title at UFC 263.

That fight took place after their first fight at UFC 256 in December 2020 ended in a draw after one of the best fights of the calendar year.

Figueiredo was ahead in the fight but had a point deducted for repeated low blows during the fight which led to the cards being evened up.

Moreno was brilliant in the second fight however and completely dominated, ending up with a big knockdown and choking Figueiredo to near unconsciousness.

UFC 270 will take place on January 22nd 2022.

UFC 269 given triple Championship headliner

The UFC will close out 2021’s pay-per-view calendar with an absolute banger of a card after it was revealed three title fights will headline UFC 269 in December.

After what has been a blockbuster year of fights the UFC have announced that there will be three huge title fights in the final pay-per-view event of the year, headlined by Charles Oliveira’s first defence of the lightweight title against Dustin Poirier.

That will be supplemented by the women’s MMA G.O.A.T Amanda Nunes making her return to the bantamweight division to defend her crown against long-time rival Julianna Pena in their rescheduled fight from earlier in the year.

As if that wasn’t enough, a third title fight will be on the card as new flyweight champion Brandon Moreno will fight former champion Deiveson Figueiredo for the third fight in a row as they round off their trilogy.

Oliveira was crowned the undisputed lightweight champion back in May, defeating Michael Chandler via second-round knockout at UFC 262. That fight could have included Poirier, but he turned down the title opportunity in favour of a trilogy bout with Conor McGregor at UFC 264, which he won via doctor’s stoppage after the first round when ‘Notorious’ broke his leg.

Poirier and Oliveira have been on a collision course, with the Brazilian on a nine-fight win streak to become champion while Poirier is 8-1 with 1 no contest in his last ten fights. The only defeat came in his only previous shot at the undisputed title, being submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242.

The fight is one that many fans will see as the real crowning of the new king of the division after the bout between Oliveira and Chandler came under criticism. Oliveira had just one win against a fighter ranked in the top five before that, while Chandler had only had one fight in the organisation – beating Dan Hooker via first-round knockout at UFC 257.

Amanda Nunes’ return to the bantamweight division comes after two straight title defences at featherweight, beating Felicia Spencer at UFC 250 and then destroying Megan Anderson at UFC 259 to retain her double champ status.

She will take on number five ranked Pena in a rescheduled bout in the co-main event, after their initial bout at UFC 265 last month was cancelled when the champion tested positive for COVID-19.

Pena has gone 2-2 in her last four fights, winning last time out against Sara McMann via submission. She has been calling Nunes out for a long time but after struggling to get a real run of wins going recently the title shots have instead gone elsewhere.

But with a lack of contenders for Nunes to face, Dana White has granted her wish and the champions has finally agreed to fight her despite her lack of win-streak and relatively low ranking.

Finally, we’ll get to run back one of the best flyweight rivalries in history one more time as Moreno and Figueiredo complete their trilogy.

The two fought in December 2020 at UFC 256 in one of the fights of the year, with the end result being a draw after Figueiredo had a point deducted for low blows in the third round. The rematch took place in June at UFC 263, with Moreno becoming the first ever Mexican born champion via a third-round submission win in a fight he largely dominated.

Figueiredo has been campaigning for a rematch since his defeat, after he granted Moreno one despite health problems. The UFC attempted to match Moreno with Alexandre Pantoja but he was suffering from a knee injury and was unavailable for December, with the champion wanting to remain active and keep the division moving.

UFC 269 will take place on December 11th 2021 at a location still to be announced.

UFC 266: Two title fights and major return announced for September

The UFC have announced three huge fights for UFC 266 in September, including two huge title fights and the return of Nick Diaz.

Diaz, the older brother of fan favourite Nate, hasn’t fought since January 2015 when he took on the legendary Anderson Silva in the main event at UFC 183 in the Brazilian’s first fight back after breaking his leg against Chris Weidman.

We will also see Alexander Volkanovski finally defend his UFC featherweight title against Brian Ortega after their initial bout was cancelled in March when the champion tested positive for COVID-19 the week before the fight. Valentina Shevchenko will also defend her flyweight title, taking on Lauren Murphy in the co-main event.

Diaz’s fight against Silva initially ended with the former middleweight champion earning a decision win, but both men tested positive after the fight and were hit with USADA bans with the result overturned to a no contest.

Diaz was initially banned for five years for marijuana use, but upon appeal saw that reduce to 18 months. He has also served suspensions in that time for unpaid fines to the Nevada State Athletic Commission as well as for failure to report his whereabouts.

He and Lawler fought back at UFC 47 back in 2004, with Diaz winning via second round knockout. Lawler went on to become the reigning welterweight champion during his UFC career but is currently on a four-fight losing streak after defeats to Rafael Dos Anjos, Ben Askren, Colby Covington and most recently Neil Magny.

The fight will not be a main event but will be five rounds, just like his brother Nate’s bout against Leon Edwards at UFC 263 last month.

In the main event, Volkanovski looks to continue his unbeaten run in the UFC when he takes on ‘T-City’ Ortega in a featherweight title fight.

Once their March bout collapsed, both fighters agreed to take part in the new season of The Ultimate Fighter as coaches. The series finale is currently set for some time in August.

Volkanovski is coming off back-to-back decision wins over Max Holloway where he won the belt then defended it for the first time at UFC 251, while Ortega dismantled The Korean Zombie at UFC Fight Island 6 to earn himself a title shot.

As for Shevchenko, she has cemented herself as the most dominant women’s flyweight of all time and has defended her title five times including most recently against Jennifer Maia at UFC 255 and then Jessica Andrade at UFC 261.

She will take on Lauren Murphy, who has worked her way up the rankings and put together a five-fight win streak with victories over Mara Romero Borella, Andrea Lee, Roxanne Modafferri at UFC Vegas 3, Liliya Shakirova at UFC 254 and Joanne Calderwood at UFC 263.

The card will take place on September 25th from Las Vegas, Nevada at the T-Mobile Arena.

Deiveson Figueiredo must target early finish at UFC 263 against Brandon Moreno

UFC 256 played host to arguably the greatest fight in UFC men’s flyweight history as Deiveson Figueiredo defended his championship against Brandon Moreno.

The circumstances of the fight were extraordinary, with both men having competed just three weeks earlier at UFC 255. Figueiredo defended his title with a first-round submission win over Alex Perez, while Moreno got a first-round win over Brandon Royval when his opponent dislocated his shoulder and got TKO’d as he lay defenceless.

The UFC then put together another title fight on just three weeks notice, which just added to what transpired in front of us.

It was a fast paced bout between both guys, with grappling and striking exchanges of the highest level. However in the third round, the fight was turned on it’s head when Figueiredo landed a front kick to the cup of Moreno. The Mexican was down and hurt and then the referee took a point from the champion, which when paired with Moreno winning the round tied the fight up at 28-28.

They then split a round each of the final two and the fight ended in a draw, but what we saw as the fight went on was that Moreno has the advantage later on.

His pace was fantastic and his gas tank never wavered, while he had plenty of success standing in the pocket and trading. The opposite could be said of ‘Deus de Guerra’ who was exhausted by the end of the fifth round.

His reason was that he struggled with food poisoning and almost pulled out of the fight in the hours leading up to the bout. But in the opening two rounds that didn’t seem to be an issue for him at all. He pushed a great pace, landed some good shots and was able to avoid Moreno’s best attempts of turning the fight ugly.

But in this rematch, he will need to push even harder than before. He is the scariest 125lber of all time without a doubt, with only one defeat on his record and 17 of his 20 career wins have come inside the distance.

Of those 17 stoppage wins, all of them have come inside the opening two rounds. That is a tactic he will need once more to be successful here.

Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil secures a rear choke submission against Joseph Benavidez in their UFC flyweight championship bout during the UFC Fight...

We’ve seen his power decrease as fights have gone on, with his gas tank emptying with each heavy handed strike gets thrown. With Moreno proving he can go the distance even on short notice and not struggling with it even on short notice, it definitely widens his window to win the fight.

With that said, without the points deduction there is a very clear argument that Figueiredo won the fight the first time around so he could adopt the same tactics. But if he is to solidify himself as the best of the two, he will want the finish and that means he needs to do it early on.

Use that frightening power and close the distance early and connect, make Moreno back-track and fear him. If Moreno steps forward and disrespects that power he will go to sleep but if the fight gets into the third round and beyond he will feel like he has the edge.

Figueiredo’s goal is simple, make the fight live up to his nickname. Make it a war and make it a war early.