A UFC Flyweight Championship trilogy bout is scheduled as the UFC 270 co-main event this Saturday night in Anaheim, California.
Champion Brandon Moreno will defend his title against Deiveson Figueiredo for the first time since stopping the former champion last year. UFC 270 will mark the third time these two flyweight fighters have faced each other, including their fantastic fight that ended in a majority draw in December 2020.
Continue reading to see the latest Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueiredo betting odds and our full staff predictions, picks, and analysis for UFC 270.
The champion will enter UFC 270 as a moderate favorite after his exceptional performance against Figueiredo last time.
- Moreno: -180
- Figueiredo: +155
The Moreno vs. Figueiredo odds have remained relatively stable since opening late last year.
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This fight is fascinating, especially from a psychological point. In their first matchup, Figueiredo came in looking almost unbeatable and Moreno came in with everything to prove. The subsequent draw in my opinion read more like a victory for the challenger although not able to secure the belt because he proved he could rise to the occasion. In the second fight obviously he proved he is the champion. For Figueiredo, the mindset first was typical of him, aggressive and he fought that way, trying to walk Moreno down and blast through him with power shots, the issue was he also walked onto shots and into scrambles and takedowns that he ultimately ended up believing were not necessary. This resulted in a far more reserved version of Figueiredo in the rematch which ended up costing him in a different way. He found himself without having done anything significant by the end of round one and desperately trying to play catch up which evidently ended up with him walking directly into a jab and being caught coming in anyway.
In this third fight, Figueiredo will be coming in trying to find a way to toe the line between taking advantage of his power, size, and aggression advantage without making the mistake of walking into the faster and scrappier Moreno’s intercepting jab and takedowns. Moreno’s confidence will be at an all-time high but the always professional will still give Figueiredo the respect he deserves and stay on his toes.
Moreno fights with a hunched posture and high guard, his chin is actually typically exposed by this angle, baiting in big power shots and depending on his movement and guard to evade and counter. His jab is a great intercepting shot and he often shoots it forward when he anticipates his opponent winding up for the rear power strike. For Figueiredo who has a power advantage especially in the 125lb division, it’s easy to get caught up headhunting for that KO because it’s always a possibility, but by doing so Moreno expertly knows how to stick and move and cleverly outwork this strategy. Figueiredo should look to feint to keep Moreno’s already high guard up so that he can mix things up to the body, this should help deplete the workhorse and raise the chances of landing.
Moreno’s pace and scrambling are his best assets, he’s quicker than Figueiredo and he knows how to take advantage of this by working his jab from the outside and chaining his entries off of it. He should look to create chaos, and keep the octagon big in order to make Figeuiredo work because Moreno is less likely to slow down. Mixing in the takedown for both men will be important, for Moreno it’s about creating scrambles to get to the back. Moreno is difficult to control when he has his back to the mat as he is able to sweep and get up well, but positions like back control or snatching onto submissions in transition is a very plausible route to victory for Moreno. For Figueiredo, taking Moreno down will slow down the pace of the fight but he has to settle for control first as giving up space in order to land ground and pound will always risk Moreno initiating a scramble. Both men have the ability to take each other down but how the grappling scenarios play out from there is where it really matters.
Ultimately, it’s on Figueiredo to make the necessary adjustments, the ability to cause damage with fewer strikes will always be the threat Moreno has to face and he’s proven he can deal with it. Skill for skill, with this fight coming immediately after their second, I have to lean towards Moreno once again.
Prediction: Brandon Moreno to win
Moreno is one of the most likable fighters in the UFC. He’s been overlooked his entire career and fights like the ultimate underdog. He refuses to quit and will keep fighting until he wins or the fight ends. His heart is his best attribute; but, his boxing and high-level Jiujitsu are close seconds. On the feet, Moreno has made significant strides and has developed into a tough and fundamental boxer with some real pop in his strikes. He typically keeps a defensive guard, allows his opponent to swing and hit his guard, and then return with a combination, often ripping the body and pelting the chin. Moreno’s bread and butter though is his grappling and submissions. He is technical, strong, and fluid on top or from his back in any position. He is elite at scrambling and turning a bad position on the mat into an advantageous one. 11 of his 19 wins have come by submission and a number of them were a result of an athletic scramble by the champion where he ended up grabbing a limb or neck before anyone else knew what happened. Ultimately, on the feet or on the mat, Moreno’s refusal to sacrifice an inch in the octagon means he is in every fight. His heart coupled with his elite-level skill means he can go from just being in a close fight to winning it in an instant.
Speaking of instantons wins, pound for pound, Figueiredo might be the most dangerous man in the UFC. He fights like he is trying to destroy his opponent, not just win. On the feet, Figueiredo throws with some serious heat and can land cracking blows from seemingly any angle and in the blink of an eye. Some guys, when they land, you can almost feel it at home; well, Figueiredo is one of those guys. Similar to Moreno though, Figueiredo’s true specialty is arguably his Jujitsu. On the mat, Figueiredo explodes into takedowns and scrambles. He is always looking for the kill and often finds it. He has an 85% finish rate. Like his opponent, Figueiredo is not just skilled but truly dangerous wherever the fight goes. And, as shown in his 5-round war with Moreno the first time, Figueiredo squashed the cardio criticisms. He can truly do it all.
I’m normally against quick rematches and even more against trilogy fights; but, in Moreno and Figueiredo’s case, I’d love to watch them fight every six months. They match up so well, doing much of the same equally viciously and skillfully. The slight x-factor is Moreno’s chin; and, in this fight, I think that will be his path to victory again. I see Moreno eating Figueiredo’s best shots. Then, once an opening presents itself, Moreno will pounce. My favorite bet is for the fight to end by submission, from either guy; but, as a straight play, I predict “and still!”
Prediction: Moreno to win
Moreno truly embodies the “Mexican Spirit”, whereby toughness and a no-quit attitude are ingrained in his style of fighting. His heart and trust in himself have led to him coming back from getting cut by the UFC just some years ago, to now, the champion of the flyweight division. Beyond heart alone, Moreno, as with many of the elite flyweight’s, is an elite mixed martial artist with little, if any, flaws. In his striking, he does a very good job staying at a range best suited for him, and this range correlates to having success with low leg kicks and as well as landing his lighting quick jab – this jab dropped Figueiredo in the second fight. When he decides to cut the range and engage, Moreno throws in quick combinations with natural power. On the mat, Moreno has very impressive scrambles that enables him to secure the more favorable grappling position. Lastly, Moreno has extremely impressive cardio that is a foundational attribute for him maintaining speed and a battle-tested chin inside the octagon. The only question with Moreno’s game is if can begin to formulate a game plan that showcases a particular skill that is noticeably greater than his opponent, as even though he has looked tremendous in his recent bouts, his opponents have looked to be somewhat on the same level which could lead to losing a close decision made by the judges.
Having a particular skill noticeably greater than all other flyweight’s is not a concern for the former champ, Deiveson Figueiredo. Figueiredo is perhaps 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. Expanding beyond power alone, the former 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. If Figueiredo decides that the lackluster first round he had was the catalyst for the loss, he may elect to forgo his cardio concern and come out ferociously against Moreno. This potential plan would be high-risk, high-reward, and I anticipate it being ill-advised given the strong chin of Moreno. Rather than implementing this strategy, I believe Figueiredo should simply reduce the power intent of most of his strikes which, in turn, keep the gas tank slightly more full to perform better as the fight progresses. If this is indeed the case, Figueredo has a strong chance of winning back the belt.
The historical trends indicate that backing the fighter who won the previous bout is the wise decision once the rematch takes place. Blindly backing this trend may prove unwise, given Figueiredo would have secured a unanimous victory in the first bout if not for a point reduction, thus showcasing he has the necessary skills to secure the win. However, in the second matchup, Moreno looked to be the faster, better conditioned, and just the notch better in every aspect of the fight when compared to the former champion. For this reason, I am quite confident in my backing of Moreno against Figueiredo. Moreover, I anticipate this bout reassembly the second matchup of Moreno keeping the pace of the fight at a high rate which will inherently attack the biggest weakness of Figueiredo – cardio. As the fight progresses, the disparity of success should expand to Moreno’s favor, leading to a potential finish.
Bet: Moreno ML; Moreno rounds 3-4
Braeden Arbour is an aspiring journalist out of Ontario, Canada. He is a recent graduate of Trent University, with a black belt in Karate and a blue belt in Judo. He has also been an avid fan of MMA for the last decade.
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.