UFC

UFC 263: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno preview and prediction

Preview and prediction for Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno at UFC 263.

After their exhilarating, highly competitive and breath-taking Fight of the Year candidate they produce at UFC 256 in December — with both men fighting just three weeks after their last victories — Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will clash one more time over the UFC flyweight title in the co-main event of UFC 263.

Their intense and back-and-forth first fight ended in a majority draw. Figueiredo retained the championship as a result, but he cost himself a decision victory in the third round when he received a one-point deduction for a hard low blow.

Regardless, Figueiredo had such a run last year that he was named FanSided MMA’s most dominant champion of 2020. After defeating Joseph Benavidez in February, but being unable to claim the flyweight gold due to missing weight, he defeated Benavidez again on Fight Island to win the title. Prior to the first fight with Moreno, Figueiredo submitted Alex Perez in about three minutes at UFC 255.

Between his UFC return in 2019 and UFC 256, Moreno went unbeaten in four fights, drawing with Askar Askarov before racking up wins over Kai Kara-France, Jussier Formiga and Brandon Royval to earn the title shot.

Who will win at UFC 263: Deiveson Figueiredo or Brandon Moreno?

Moreno will enter this fight with two-inch edges in both height and reach, per the Tale of the Tape. FightMetrics shows a near even striking output and strikes absorbed average for both men, though Figueiredo has the better accuracy percentage and Moreno has the slightly better defensive percentage.

Moreno has a slightly better takedowns landed average than Figueiredo, as well as a slightly better takedown defense percentage. But Figueredo has a slightly better success rate of takedowns and is a submission machine on the ground.

The first fight was bonkers, no doubt about it. And it’s one of the rare times in this sport where a draw may be the right call, given the one-point deduction, how back-and-forth the fight was and the incredible pace and closeness of the battle. Figueiredo has incredible power, but Moreno has shown he can withstand it, and Moreno stunned the champion a couple of times in that first encounter.

There’s no doubt that there is a hope and a feeling that these two can produce another memorable classic inside the Octagon. But the question is now that these two have had full camps and months to prepare, who will be better at making the necessary adjustments to come away as the undisputed winner and champion?

It’s incredibly close; it’s the most unpredictable of these incredible fights at UFC 263. But with Figueiredo as the champ, nearly coming away with the win on the cards, his power and now a full camp, he may be able to come away with a very slight edge to be the winner.

But make no mistake, the only thing that can be predicted: this should be the Fight of the Night and potentially a candidate for 2021 Fight of the Year.

Prediction: Figueiredo via unanimous decision

UFC 263 takes place on Saturday, June 12, 2021, live from the Gila River Arena in Glendale, AZ. Follow along with FanSided who is on-site all week for all your live news and highlights.