UFC 270 Report: Deiveson Figueiredo defeats Brandon Moreno to regain the UFC Flyweight Championship. Ngannou retains title
By: Eric Marcotte
UFC 270 took place on Saturday night, from Honda Center in Anaheim, California. The card was headlined by a title unification fight between the UFC Heavyweight Champion, Francis Ngannou, and the division’s Interim Champion, Ciryl Gane. Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic in March of 2021 to claim the heavyweight title, but just a few months later, the promotion made the decision to add an interim title to the mix, with Gane ultimately defeating Derrick Lewis to take the interim crown. Despite the strange title situation, as well as the shadow of Francis Ngannou’s expiring contract looming in the background of this fight, this was very much a highly anticipated fight between two of the top heavyweights in the world, with very different styles. Gane is undefeated in MMA and has barely given up a round since joining the UFC. His technical ability has been astonishing to watch at heavyweight, but power is the ultimate equalizer, and no fighter is more dangerous on the feet than Francis Ngannou. The co-main event saw Brandon Moreno attempt to defend his UFC Flyweight Championship against the man he beat for the championship last year, Deiveson Figueiredo. Notably, this marked the first time in UFC history that two fighters have fought each other three consecutive times, with their first fight in December of 2020 resulting a majority draw, and Moreno defeating Figueiredo by submission to win their rematch in June of 2021. Moreno was clearly a step ahead in their second bout, and all eyes were on Deiveson Figueiredo to see what changes he would make to his game in this third fight.
Jon Anik provided commentary for this card alongside Daniel Cormier and Joe Rogan. Performance bonuses were awarded to Said Nurmagomedov and Vanessa Demopoulos. Fight of the Night bonuses went out to Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo.
*Jasmine Jasudavicius def. Kay Hansen by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Vanessa Demopoulos def. Silvana Gómez Juárez by armbar at 2:25 of Round 1
*Matt Frevola def. Genaro Valdéz by TKO 3:15 of Round 1
*Tony Gravely def. Saimon Oliveira by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Jack Della Maddalena def. Pete Rodriguez by TKO at 2:59 of Round 1
*Victor Henry def. Raoni Barcelos by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Michael Morales def. Trevin Giles by TKO at 4:06 of Round 1
*Said Nurmagomedov def. Cody Stamann by guillotine choke at 0:47 of Round 1
*Michael Pereira def. André Fialho by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Deiveson Figueiredo def. Brandon Moreno by unanimous decision (48-47 all) to the win the UFC Flyweight Championship
*Francis Ngannou def. Ciryl Gane by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) to retain the UFC Heavyweight Championship
KAY HANSEN (7-4, 125) VS JASMINE JASUDAVICIUS (6-1, 125) – FLYWEIGHT
Hansen immediately brought Jasudavicius to the cage, where her attempt to bring the fight to the ground was defended. Jasudavicius had a considerable size advantage in this bout and was utilizing her reach effectively on the feet. She continued to defend takedown attempts from Hansen before Jasudavicius secured a takedown of her own. Jasudavicius spent the final minute of the round in top position and secured the round on my scorecard. 10-9 Jasudavicius.
Hansen managed to secure a takedown of her own just seconds into the second round, but Jasudavicius quickly swept her way on top. Hansen was working for an armbar off of her back, but ate a ton of elbows in the process, and was forced to give up on the attempt. With two minutes to go in the round, they were stood up for inactivity, and the fight resumed on the feet. The rest of the round was largely spent wrestling against the cage, and Jasudavicius took Hansen down once more to end the round. 20-18 Jasudavicius.
The third round was more of a kickboxing fight than the prior two rounds. Hansen was throwing with a bit more power in my mind, and despite Jasudavicius’s reach advantage, it did feel as though she was getting out-pointed throughout this round. Regardless, with Jasudavicius likely up on the scorecards, Hansen needed something big, and it never really came for her in this round. The fight went the distance, and I scored it 29-28 for Jasudavicius.
WINNER: Jasmine Jasudavicius by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Jasudavicius was able to control the first two rounds with her grappling, and despite Hansen coming back to take the third round, this was a solid UFC debut for Jasudavicius. She did have a considerable size advantage over Hansen, so it will be interesting to see her in there against a more of a natural flyweight, but regardless, Hansen was a decent favorite going into this fight, so this was unquestionably an impressive performance from the UFC newcomer.
SILVANA GOMEZ JUAREZ (10-3, 115.5) VS VANESSA DEMOPOULOS (6-4, 115.5) – STRAWWEIGHT
Gomez Juarez began the fight with a heavy right hand, and a second one knocked Demopoulos down hard. Gomez Juarez followed her to the ground in an attempt to finish the fight, but Demopoulos was able to throw up an armbar from her back, and she locked it in quickly, forcing Gomez Juarez to submit.
WINNER: Vanessa Demopoulos by armbar at 2:25 of Round 1
Demopoulos looked like she was out when she went down from that right hand, as she more or less said the same thing in her post-fight interview, but somehow, she was able to recover incredibly quickly, and locked in the armbar with relative ease. The submission defence of Gomez Juarez was definitely lacking, and this was a disappointing outcome for her after being on the verge of a finish just seconds beforehand. Demopoulos is now 1-1 in the UFC
MATT FREVOLA (8-3-1, 154.5) VS GENARO VALDEZ (10-0, 155.5) – LIGHTWEIGHT
Both fighters were throwing bombs to begin this fight. Frevola was mixing some kicks into his game as well, but they were largely trading hands in this opening minute. Eventually, it was Frevola who dropped Valdez, not once, but twice in the span of about ten seconds, and it looked like Valdez was done, but he managed to wrap Frevola up just long enough to recover, and then the fighters went right back to trading shots. Frevola dropped Valdez about four more times (that is not an over-exaggeration), before Frevola eventually followed Valdez to the ground, and threw down ground and pound shots until the fight was stopped.
WINNER: Matt Frevola by TKO 3:15 of Round 1
This must have set a new UFC record for most times a fighter has been dropped in a single round. The stoppage was a bit late here, but honestly, it wasn’t as egregious as one might assume after hearing “six knockdowns in about two minutes”. This was a wild fight, where each fighter spent the near entirety of the bouts three minutes and fifteen seconds swinging for the fences. Frevola clearly had the edge in power, and ultimately, that’s what decided this one. Frevola is now 3-3-1 in the UFC.
TONY GRAVELY (21-7, 135.5) VS SAIMON OLIVEIRA (18-3, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Oliveira immediately threw a front kick up the middle, before jumping for a flying knee. This resulted in Gravely taking the fight to the ground, where Oliveira nearly caught him in a guillotine choke. Gravely escaped, and he began to throw down ground and pound from top position. Oliveira worked his way up against the cage, but couldn’t create the separation that he needed to break away from Gravely. 10-9 Gravely.
Gravely took the fight right back to the ground to begin round two. Oliveira worked his way back to his feet quickly this time and landed a solid combination of strikes before he was taken back down. While Gravely recorded a ton of takedowns and controlled the majority of this round, he wasn’t doing a ton of damage either, which was really keeping Oliveira in this fight as far as the scorecards are concerned. Still, I had Gravely up 20-18 going into the final round.
Once again, Oliveira started off the round aggressively and was taken down in the process. This third round was very similar to the second, with Gravely controlling large portions of the round with his grappling, and Oliveira having very short bursts of activity during their exchanges on the feet. The fight went the distance, and I scored it 30-27 for Gravely.
WINNER: Tony Gravely by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
The fight was actually closer than the scorecards may suggest. The control time was overwhelmingly in favor of Gravely, but he was often quite inactive in these positions. Ultimately, I think he did do enough damage throughout each of the rounds for a clean sweep on the scorecards, but there were certainly moments of hope for Oliveira whenever the fight returned to the feet. Gravely improved to 3-2 in the UFC with this win.
JACK DELLA MADDALENA (10-2, 170.5) VS PETE RODRIGUEZ (4-0, 170.5) – WELTERWEIGHT
Rodriguez attacked the body of Della Maddalena in the opening minute. Della Maddalena was finding success with his jab, and it did not take long for the damage to show. Rodriguez was a bloody mess, and you could see Della Maddalena’s confidence rise as he began to really go on the attack. Della Maddalena landed a beautiful step back, straight left hand that knocked Rodriguez down, and Della Maddalena quickly moved in to finish the fight.
WINNER: Jack Della Maddalena by TKO at 2:59 of Round 1
Rodriguez was game here, but Jack Della Maddalena was just on another level. This was a beautiful performance, and as the commentary team pointed out, it looked as though Rodriguez had gone through a fifteen-minute war by the end of this fight, instead of a three-minute bout. There is really no shortage of fighters making their promotional debut scattered throughout this card, but Jack Della Maddalena had the most impressive performance of the bunch, at least to this point on the card.
RAONI BARCELOS (16-2, 135) VS VICTOR HENRY (21-5, 135.5) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Barcelos connected with an uppercut to being this fight. They exchanged right hands, before Barcelos landed a combination of punches that stunned Henry slightly. Henry went for a high knee, but Barcelos caught him with a hard hook in the process. Henry cracked Barcelos with a hook as Barcelos attempted to close the distance, which was his best strike of the fight to that point. Henry began to turn up the pressure and was finding success with his combinations while moving forward. Still, Barcelos was giving as good as he was getting, and took Henry down in the final minute of the round. Henry got back to his feet, and really went on the attack in pursuit of a finish, but it did not come before the round’s conclusion. 10-9 Henry.
Barcelos appeared to have recovered between rounds, and he was ready to brawl in this second round. The fighters traded heavy hooks up top, with Henry occasionally attacking the body as well. It was a back and forth round, but Barcelos was wearing the damage of the bout on his face more so than Henry, and Henry just seemed to be landing with slightly more power. 20-18 Henry on my scorecard, but this was a very close round.
The brawling continued into round three, with neither fighter showing any signs of slowing down. As the round progressed, it seemed as though Henry was starting to take over, but Barcelos threw a wild haymaker back in response, and that backed Henry off momentarily. In the final minutes of the round, Henry searched for a takedown against the cage, but couldn’t find it. The fight went the distance, and I scored it 30-27 in favor of Victory Henry.
WINNER: Victor Henry by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
Barcelos was a sizeable favorite going into this fighter against the UFC newcomer, but Victor Henry brought the fight to him for fifteen minutes, and that aggression resulted in a huge win here (on short notice) against a very talented fighter in Raoni Barcelos. The strike count in this fight was insane, as neither fighter took a second off throughout this fifteen-minute fight, throwing constantly. This was a great UFC debut for Henry, and a rough loss for Barcelos, who has lost his last two fights.
MICHAEL MORALES (12-0, 170) VS TREVIN GILES (14-3, 170) – WELTERWEIGHT
Giles began the fight with a series of low kicks, before landing a right hand that knocked Morales down momentarily. Instead of going for the finish, Giles engaged Morales in the clinch and began to wrestle with him against the cage. Giles proceeded to take Morales down, where he attempted an arm triangle. He was unsuccessful on the submission attempt, and Morales returned to his feet. Morales proceeded to land a right hand that rocked Giles, and he just swarmed him with strikes until Morales finally went down against the cage. Morales followed Giles down, and he finished the fight with strikes.
WINNER: Michael Morales by TKO at 4:06 of Round 1
Morales was in a lot of trouble about a minute into this fight, but he weathered the storm, and when the fight returned to the feet, Giles was fighting very aggressively. Morales picked his counters well here, and the right hand that he landed as Giles charged forward ultimately decided the fight. This marked Morales’s UFC debut, and this was quite the stage to be making his promotional debut on. The crowd loved Morales here, and I can see him getting placed in another strong slot on whatever card he fights on next.
CODY STAMANN (19-4-1, 135.5) VS SAID NURMAGOMEDOV (14-2, 136) – BANTAMWEIGHT
Nurmagomedov started the fight off strongly, with a hard right hand, as well as a pair of spinning attacks to the head and body respectively. Stamann shot for a takedown but was caught in a guillotine in the process. The choke was in tight, and Stamann was forced to submit.
WINNER: Said Nurmagomedov by guillotine choke at 0:47 of Round 1
Nurmagomedov had not fought since October of 2020, and this was about as great of a way to reinsert himself into the bantamweight picture as one could imagine. Cody Stamann had only been finished once professionally going into this bout, so for Nurmagomedov to submit him in less than a minute is quite the accomplishment. Nurmagomedov is now 4-1 in the UFC, and this marked his first submission in the promotion. Stamann on the other hand, has lost his three last fights, and is really starting to fall in the bantamweight rankings. To be fair, Stamann has faced tough competition, but there are really no easy fights in a division as stacked as 135lbs, so adjustments will certainly have to be made in order for Stamann to climb his way back into the rankings.
MICHEL PEREIRA (26-11, 170) VS ANDRE FIALHO (14-3, 1 NC, 169.5) – WELTERWEIGHT
Fialho began the fight aggressively, but the pace of the fight slowed quickly. A hard jab from Fialho caused Pereira to stumble, and Fialho continued to throw them as Pereira circled the cage. Pereira cracked Fialho with a right hand, but Fialho responded strongly with a hard combination as Pereira retreated to the cage. Fialho stuffed a takedown attempt, and he continued to land that jab effectively. 10-9 Fialho.
Pereira landed a right-hand just moments into the second round. Pereira was fighting with much more aggression this round, hurting Fialho with an early combination. Pereira was working the body as well, catching Fialho with a pair of thunderous kicks to the torso. As the round progressed, it was becoming clear that Pereira’s body shots were doing a ton of damage, and he had Fialho in trouble whenever he worked them into his combinations. Fialho was throwing body shots of his own to keep Pereira off of him, but they were not landing to an equal effect. Pereira ended the round with a takedown, and Fialho was looking very tired. 19-19.
The fighters hugged to begin the final round. Pereira was still looking fresh out there and was landing heavy shots, despite often being on the retreat. They traded looping hooks as Pereira circled the cage, with Pereira landing at a slightly higher rate. Pereira caught Fialho with a kick that landed low towards the end of this one, but when the action resumed, the fighters traded wild hooks until the horn sounded. 29-28 Pereira.
WINNER: Michael Pereira by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
Pereira has definitely tuned down the utter insanity of his style over the years, but he remains one of the wildest and most explosive fighters on the roster, and this fight was exactly what you would expect out of him. Fialho had a lot of success in the opening round, but as Pereira picked up the aggression and attacked the body, the momentum of the fight shifted, and he was able to bank the final two rounds on the scorecards. Pereira is now on a four-fight win streak and has a UFC record of 5-2.
BRANDON MORENO (19-5-2, 124) VS DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO (20-2, 124) – UFC FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
This marked the third bout between these two fighters in just over a year. Their first fight in December of 2020 resulted in a majority draw, and Moreno defeated Figueiredo by submission in June of 2021 to claim the UFC Flyweight Championship.
Moreno received a huge ovation as he made his way to the octagon. The fighters touched gloves to begin this trilogy bout. Figueiredo slipped early, and Moreno brought him against the cage in pursuit of a takedown. Figueiredo reversed the position, and the fighters broke apart with three minutes remaining in the round. Figueiredo landed a hard leg kick, and they traded jabs. Figueiredo connected with another hard leg kick that buckled the leg of Moreno, but Moreno responded with a hook that backed Figueiredo off. Moreno defended a takedown attempt and threw a very creative leg kick of his own. Figueiredo caught Moreno with a hook to end a close round. 10-9 Figueiredo.
Moreno was letting his hands go in the opening minute of round two, looking extremely confident. There was an incredible scramble following a takedown attempt from Moreno which resulted in both men returning to their feet. Moreno and Figueiredo exchanged strikes on the feet, with Moreno seemingly landing with a bit more power. Both fighters were attacking the body, but their exchanges often ended with power right hands up top. Just when it seemed as though Figueiredo was beginning to find his groove, Moreno landed a pair of heavy right hands that backed Figueiredo off. Another close round. 19-19.
Figueiredo began round three with another leg kick, before taking Moreno down. Moreno immediately got back to his feet but ate a knee to the body in the process. Moreno was stunned by a left hand from Figueiredo, but he recovered quickly. They exchanged hooks that rocked one another slightly, and Figueiredo connected with yet another strong leg kick. Moreno pressed forward and tagged Figueiredo with a left hand. Figueiredo dropped Moreno with a right hand in the final seconds of the round, but there was not enough time left for him to capitalize. He also appeared to give Moreno a push after time expired in the round. 29-28 Figueiredo.
The leg kicks from Figueiredo were beginning to add up, but Moreno was still moving well despite the damage. Figueiredo caught Moreno with a left hand through his guard, before landing another hard kick to the leg. Moreno began to turn on the pressure as the round progressed and seemed to have recovered completely from the knockdown at the end of round three. Moreno defended a takedown attempt but found himself pressed into the cage with about ninety seconds remaining in the round. Moreno broke away and threw a strong combination in the pocket to back Figueiredo off. This may have been the closest round of the fight, but I narrowly gave the edge to Brandon Moreno. 38-38.
Moreno secured a takedown in the opening minute of round five, but Figueiredo popped right back up. Moreno dug into with a body shot, and Figueiredo responded with a lead hook. Both fighters were hesitant throughout this round, until Figueiredo sat Moreno down with a right hand. Moreno wasn’t hurt and got right back to his feet, where he landed a hard combination in an attempted to make up ground. Figueiredo landed about four heavy rights in the final minute, but Moreno’s chin was made of steel, and he just responded in kind, and the fighters brawled to the finish. I scored the fight 48-47 for Figueiredo.
WINNER: Deiveson Figueiredo by unanimous decision (48-47 all) to win the UFC Flyweight Championship
While I saw this fight the same way as the judges, this one really could have been scored in favor of either fighter. The final two rounds in particular were razor-close, but I don’t think you could argue against the result either way. Moreno was the more active fighter throughout the bout, but Figueiredo paced himself well, creating big moments for himself whenever he was in need of one. Now the Moreno/Figueiredo trilogy stands at 1-1-1, and in all likelihood, these men will face each other four an unprecedented fourth time in the near future. Hopefully, the winner of Askar Askarov and Kai Kara France will get their shot at flyweight gold next, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest to see the UFC jump right into the fourth fight between Figueiredo and Moreno. Figueiredo called for a fourth fight against Moreno in Mexico during his post-fight interview, something Moreno will obviously be receptive to. With this win, Figueiredo became the first flyweight to become a two-time champion of the division.
FRANCIS NGANNOU (16-3, 257) VS CIRYL GANE (10-0, 247) – UFC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Ngannou and Gane touched gloves to begin the fight. Gane quickly shot for a takedown, which was defended by Ngannou. Ngannou pressed Gane into the cage in search of a takedown of his own, but Gane reversed the position before landing a wild elbow. Ngannou caught Gane with a body shot but was narrowly missing on his attempted uppercuts. Gane connected with a spinning kick to the body, as well as a hard knee to the torso. Gane defended another takedown, before throwing another heavy kick to the body. Close opening round. 10-9 Gane.
Gane continued to chip away at the body in the second round. Gane was tagging Ngannou with quick shots and was successful in getting out of range before Ngannou could respond. Gane threw a spinning wheel kick that partially connected. Ngannou’s output was extremely low, and Gane was just a step ahead on activity alone. Ngannou threw an uppercut as Gane went in with a straight right hand. 20-18 Gane.
Ngannou got a huge takedown a minute into round three, where he caught a leg and slammed Gane the crowd. Ngannou began to work from side control, before moving into full mount. Gane worked his way back to his feet, successfully avoiding any significant damage on the ground. Gane caught Ngannou with a spinning elbow on the break, which Ngannou responded to with a body shot. Gane slapped Ngannou with a head kick, and Ngannou took Gane down again moments later. Gane threatened a takedown but was unsuccessful. Another close round, but I thought Ngannou did enough to take this one. 29-28 Gane.
The fighters exchanged leg kicks to begin the fourth round. Gane connected with a pair of kicks to the body, before Ngannou shot for another takedown. Ngannou was successful and took Gane down one more time as Gane attempted to work his way back up. Ngannou didn’t do much damage, but he controlled the near entirety of the round on the ground, and this was a fairly clear round for the champion. 38-38.
Gane threw a pair of jabs to the body before going up top with a combination. Gane proceeded to take Ngannou down, where Gane began to work from top position. Gane rolled for a heel hook, but Ngannou defended successfully and took top position with just over two minutes remaining. Ngannou was content to lay in half guard until the fight went the distance. Ngannou controlled more of the round, but for the takedown and the submission attempt, I gave this round to Ciryl Gane. 48-47 Gane.
WINNER: Francis Ngannou by decision (48-47, 48-47, 49-46) to retain the UFC Heavyweight Championship
To be clear, I think I was the only person on the planet who saw this fight for Ciryl Gane. The first four rounds are all fairly clear, but I thought based on the official scoring criteria, Ciryl Gane should have been awarded the fifth round based off of his activity, in comparison to the control time of Francis Ngannou. Regardless, Ngannou won this fight with his wrestling, which is something that absolutely nobody predicted going into this fight. While he was unable to do any damage or threaten Gane with any submissions throughout the fight, he was able to take Gane down at will, and he was able to keep him there by utilizing his size and power. It was far from entertaining, but it was an intelligent choice by Ngannou, who was looking very tired by the third round. This was certainly a frustrating fight for Gane, as it felt as though he had the fight won at points, but he ultimately let it slip away, and the champion capitalized. As a result of this fight, Ngannou is still contracted to the UFC throughout the year, and it will be interesting to see how the drama surrounding his contractual status unfolds as the year progresses. Ngannou noted that he was fighting with a torn MCL, as well as a hurt ACL, so he may very well be out of action for some time. If that is the case, Gane, Jon Jones, and Stipe Miocic are all names to keep your eyes on at the next contender is determined.