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Staff Predictions: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno | UFC 283

Staff Predictions: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno | UFC 283

Deiveson Figueiredo

Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will face each other for the fourth time this weekend when they meet at UFC 283.

Figueiredo, now a two-time champion of the flyweight division, will defend his title against the former champ in the co-main event of the special pay-per-view that’s set to take place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this Saturday. The main event of the evening is a UFC Light Heavyweight Championship bout between Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill.

Figureido’s recent fight record is nothing but fights against Moreno dating back to 2020. Figueiredo initially retained the title at UFC 256 when the pair fought to a majority draw. Later, in a rematch in June 2021, Figueiredo lost the title to Moreno after being submitted in round three. He reclaimed the title with a unanimous decision win at UFC 270 in January last year in a bout that won “Fight of the Night” honors.

Moreno’s record is as stated above but with the inclusion of a TKO win against Kai Kara-France at UFC 277 in July last year. With the win, Moreno claimed the interim title and earned himself another shot at Figureido and the UFC Flyweight Championship.

Read on for the latest Figueiredo vs. Moreno betting odds and our staff predictions, breakdown, and picks before UFC 283.

Betting Odds

Deiveson Figueiredo will enter the UFC 283 co-main event as a slight betting underdog for the second time in this rivalry. Figueiredo had opened as a moderate betting favorite for the first two fights at UFC 256 in 2020 and UFC 263 in 2021.

  • Deiveson Figueiredo: +105
  • Brandon Moreno: -125

Staff Predictions

Braeden Arbour

Few fighters know each other in the octagon as well as Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo with over an hour of fighting between them. The two have consistently had to adapt to one another both inside and between fights which put them in a very unique position going into their fourth matchup.

Brandon Moreno stands in an odd stance, with open hands and a chin up in the air. It’s often bait so that he can move and counter with a big right hand. However what has been most successful for Moreno is initiating exchanges with his jab and also landing last with his left hook, by being first and third in his combinations he is able to out-land Figueiredo. What he has to be most careful of is Figueiredo’s low calf kick. In their third encounter, Moreno did very well to land his right cross to counter the kick but both would still land. The damage to the leg paid more dividends in the later round than any punch Moreno landed earlier in the fight, so that’s a payoff he has to figure out.

For Figueiredo, the calf kick, along with his mid-level kicks are so effective because they are so evidently damaging as long as they land on something. Even if Moreno can raise his guard, taking the kicks on his forearms will break down his defenses and could even damage his shoulder again. It’s important that Figueiredo makes these investments because in pure cardio and volume Moreno is hard to match, and Figueiredo needs to do something to deteriorate Moreno over 5 rounds instead of hunting solely for the finish early on.

Moreno can wear down Figueiredo if he is the more proactive wrestler. In their first two fights, Moreno was the one who tied up the body lock every time Figueiredo over-committed and came crashing in, and he had significant success getting him to the floor. The reason we saw this less last time around was that Figueiredo actually took the initiative and looked for counter-wrestling opportunities, which caused Moreno to take his foot off the gas in this regard. However, with 2/11 takedowns landed, Figueiredo is a far less effective wrestler and when Moreno was the one attacking the takedowns he was getting them. Even if he cannot complete the positions, forcing Figueiredo to scramble only benefits the better endurance athlete Moreno. In terms of where they want to be on the ground, Moreno has to always be careful of exposing his neck if he level changes because Figueiredo has such a nasty guillotine. This is also why working from double under-hooks and to the body lock is safer. Figueiredo also has great leg locks but typically controls the position and executes his roll on his terms not so much in a wild scramble. By keeping up a pace in these exchanges, Moreno’s scrappy style of grappling can pay out, and because Figueiredo has a habit of exposing his back to roll, if he does this a tad sluggishly due to fatigue in the later rounds there will be opportunities for Moreno to take the back once again.

I think both men know they can hurt each other with their punches. I think that Moreno needs to address the low kick game of Figueiredo and being the more aggressive wrestler this time around can also help that issue. If he can, I do see a clearer path for Moreno as he can wear down Figueiredo, and minimize some of the brute damage that is offered in his direction. The two sit at -110 a piece right now, so it’s a pick em fight. My Money is on Moreno

Pick: Brandon Moreno to win (-125)

Michael Pounders

Well, we’re back again for a 4th time and I couldn’t be more excited! Figgy and Moreno have fought for a total of 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 26 seconds. During that time, fans have been thoroughly entertained and neither man has clearly separated himself from the other. In the first matchup, Figueiredo closed as a -300 favorite. Although the fight was back and forth, Figueiredo was winning until he had a point deducted and the fight ended in a draw. In their second matchup, Figueiredo again closed as the favorite, around a -200. Moreno upset the odds and outworked Figgy en route to a submission win. Then, for the trilogy, Moreno was the favorite, around a -180; but, this time, Figueiredo was the victor via unanimous decision. Interestingly, in all 3 of their matchups, the favorite has never won. Moreover, Figueiredo arguably won 2 of the 3 matchups; but, only Moreno has been able to find a finish. Odds makers reflect how close these two competitors are through the pick’em odds in this fight.

Deiveson “Daico” Figueiredo is a 35-year-old fly weight whose body is chiseled from stone and mindset equally hardened. Figgy is an assassin in the cage. He uniquely combines elite power with strong wrestling and dangerous jiu-jitsu. Figueiredo has been atop the flyweight division because few others can match his speed, striking variety, range knowledge, footwork, chin, and power. In the rare instances where another flyweight can stand with Figueiredo without becoming one of the 9 opponents to be knocked out, Figueiredo can expertly implement the grappling aspect of his game. He times his takedowns well and explodes into his opponent while driving his hips until they hit the mat. Once down, Figueiredo does not waste much time, he tends to athletically maneuver on and around his opponent in search for a submission. He’s finished 8 opponents via submission. Offensively, Figueiredo might be the most dangerous man in the 125 and 135 pound divisions, he is that powerful and that good on the mat. His defense and endurance are the reason some have doubted “Daico” in the past. Early on, Figueiredo is hard to hit cleanly. He has great head movement, uses footwork to cut clean angles, and can counter with deadly intention. However, as the fight progresses, Figueiredo’s cardio falls faster than other flyweights. His cardio dump impacts his defense more than his offense; Figgy becomes a bit slower to react, his footwork becomes more linear, and he starts to eat rather than evade shots. For as long as he’s standing, though, it’s not Figueiredo who needs to be cautious of the finish, it’s his opponent.

Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno is just as dangerous, just as high-level, and just as championship-minded as Figueiredo. They share so many intangible qualities but their styles are starkly different. Moreno is a highly skilled combination boxer who can throw with heat but tends to do his best work when he lands lightning fast combinations. His knockouts tend to be through an accumulation of damage rather than a one-hitter-quitter. Make no mistake, Moreno is not a peppering striker, his combinations thud. His cardio is also a massive weapon, especially in 5 round affairs. Moreno pushes a high pace from the opening minute and continues to increase that pace round after round. Where most fighters get tired and slow down, Moreno seems to thrive in firefights and is able to somehow increase his volume when he should be nearing the bottom of his tank. In the grappling department, Moreno is electrifying to watch. He scrambles with explosion and intelligence so either stand back up or reverse position. Moreno has finished 11 of his 20 wins by submission and has done so being the one to initiate the takedown or scramble out of an opponent’s. No matter where the fight goes, Moreno is skilled, dangerous, and pushes a pace that few others can match. The reason some have backed Figueiredo in the past is because of Moreno’s defense. He has one of the best chins in the division, possibly the UFC; but, he relies on it often. When Moreno is leading the exchanges, he slips and dips to evade shots. However, when he’s put on his back foot, Moreno is willing to eat heavy shots and try to counter with his own instead of evading or blocking the strikes that come his way. While he’s never been knocked out, Moreno has been dropped in recent fights. Still, though, his heart and cardio propel him to not only survive after being dropped but even thrive.

I could, without exaggeration, watch these two fight every few months and be completely satisfied. That’s because both are so evenly matched and so high level that the smallest advantage or disadvantage will be the deciding factor in an incredibly entertaining fight. Historically, Figgy’s power and Moreno’s cardio have been the deciding factors. Figueiredo’s power should still be apparent in this one and I think he’ll even drop Moreno again in this fight. But, because of their last matchup and this fight being in Figueiredo’s home country, I don’t think Moreno will be able to exploit the cardio gap as effectively as he has in the past. It’s a thin edge because this fight is so close. I like Figueiredo to win the early rounds again; but, instead of Moreno rallying late, I anticipate Figueiredo to be able to keep his foot on the gas pedal for a late finish or fight of the year caliber decision win.

Pick: Figueiredo to win (+105)

Joe Pounders

Deiveson Figueiredo is the most powerful 125’er to have ever walked the planet. Whether it be an overhand right or a lead left hook to the body, Figueiredo has the power to end the night quickly. And, if the power lands and does not end the night, he has the power endurance necessary to keep his danger throughout the entire duration of the fight, which makes him extremely dangerous to contend with from the first to the 24:59 minute of the fight.

Expanding beyond power alone, the champ is an extremely well-rounded fighter who has strong wrestling accompanied by elite BJJ. The issue, primarily stemming from a massive weight cut that enables him to have a clear strength advantage in the octagon, is his cardio. This cardio concern led to him coming out far slower than he did in the first matchup against Moreno, which was his lone loss in this now 4-fight journey. For this fight, the interesting factor is that not only did Figueiredo demonstrate improvement in his fight-game – he won the most recent fight, but also, is in the best shape entering the actual fight week: based on social reporting, he has less than 10 pounds to cut before his weigh-in, which is minimal compared to what he traditionally cuts. This improvement in pre-cut weight will likely prove beneficial in further improving his cardio and output in the octagon, but, coming in lighter may mitigate some of the power, and, given he could not find the finish albeit had three registered knockdowns, Figgy may not be able to rest on the fact he can win the fight at a moment’s notice if needed.

As alluded to Moreno truly embodies the “Mexican Spirit”, whereby toughness and a no-quit attitude are ingrained in his style of fighting. This style is not only beneficial by way of having incredible durability in the octagon but also, allows him to fight with a sense of freedom and comfort, fully knowing he has toughness is needed. Fighting without fear is a very dangerous mindset to have in the octagon as he can fight the style of fight however he wishes to do and/or however the fight plays out.

If kept standing, Moreno is a fast mover who looks to land calf kicks while at the range, and then once he enters the pocket, he is more than willing to take a shot to land 2-3 of his own. On the mat, Moreno’s impeccable scrambling ability often allows him to win the grappling positions and secure a dominating position — body lock or heavy-hip top control. In total, he is, similarly to Figgy an extremely well-rounded fighter who has high-end talent wherever the fight takes place.

While hyper-talented, Moreno does have razor-thin flaws in his fight game which caused him to lose his last fight to Figgy, and, if scoring the first bout without a point deduction, would be 1-2 in the fight trilogy that has taken plus thus far. The most notable flaw is his propensity to rush into range without much caution. He does this because he trusts his lightning-quick speed and elite chin will allow him to win the exchange, but, in his last fight against Figgy, rushing in caused him to wear damage and eventually get knocked down in the fight. If Moreno can avoid the knockdown, his output, speed, and demonstrable success in his fights make him extremely live in this spot, and is why so many MMA fans are excited to see the fourth iteration of this matchup.

This fight is as much of a coin toss as any fight, let alone one that has already taken place three times. While there is no clear and discernable handicap, I do believe there are aspects to each fight that create logic for backing a winner. The largest is that in the first fight, Figgy was the arguable victor barring a point deduction, won the most recent bout, and, while losing the second, he looked unlike himself and showcased that was a mere anomaly contrary to the norm. Because Figgy is arguably 2-1 in this matchup coupled with him looking to be in the best shape yet, I do believe he will take the win in his home country knowing each round will be razor thin, but, FIggy has shown the ability to land the most impactful shot needed to sway the judges’ needle in his favor.

Pick: Figueiredo to win (+105)

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