UFC 256 is action packed
The final UFC PPV event of the year will take place this Saturday night and it is a packed show. In the co main event, Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson is back after suffering his first loss since 2012 when he takes on rising star and submission specialist Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira at lightweight. The event will be headlined by Flyweight champion Deiveson “Deus da Guerra” Figueiredo defending his title against Brandon “The Assassin Baby” Moreno.
Deiveson Figueiredo is making a very quick turnaround when he fights this Saturday. In fact, Figueiredo will hold the fastest turnaround for a UFC champion. Figueiredo just fought three weeks ago at UFC 255 when he took on Alex Perez in the main event and defeated Perez by submitting him in the first round to successfully defend his flyweight title for the first time. Prior to the defense, Figueiredo took on longtime flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez in back-to-back bouts that saw Figueiredo dominate Benavidez and finish Benavidez in both fights. Figueiredo won the first fight by second round TKO and won the second fight flawlessly and submitted Benavidez in the first round. Figueiredo was on a two-fight win streak before his title fights and won those impressively. Figueiredo has only lost one time in his career and it doesn’t seem like Figueiredo will lose as long as he’s champion.
Brandon Moreno, currently ranked No. 1, is also making a quick turnaround for this fight. Moreno also fought at UFC 255 and defeated Brandon Royval by first round TKO. Moreno is riding a three-fight win streak, putting on exciting fights every time he steps into the cage. Moreno debuted with the UFC in 2016 and won his fight by first round submission. Moreno would win his next two in a row before main eventing a Fight Night in 2017 when he took on Sergio Pettis. Moreno would lose by unanimous decision and lose his next fight by unanimous decision and was released from the UFC. Moreno won his next fight outside of the UFC by technical knockout and was later re-signed to the UFC and has only impressed since returning. Moreno has a chance to prove that coming back to the UFC was a smart move this Saturday.
Tony Ferguson, currently ranked No. 3, is coming off a brutal loss to Justin Gaethje this past May. Before the loss, Ferguson was on an historic 12 fight win streak that saw him capture the interim lightweight title, but never fought for an undisputed title. Ferguson beat the likes of Kevin Lee, Rafael dos Anjos, and Donald Cerrone during his impressive win streak. Ferguson started the win streak back in 2013 when he beat Mike Rio by first round submission. After racking up more wins, Ferguson was slated to face rising contender Kevin Lee at UFC 216 for the interim lightweight belt and won by third round submission. Ferguson had the chance to turn his interim belt to an undisputed belt when he was scheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223. During the week of the fight, Ferguson tripped over a wire and completely tore his knee and was unable to compete. Ferguson returned at UFC 229 against former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and put on a barn burner of a fight and defeated Pettis by second round TKO. Now at the age of 36 and suffering his first loss, many people are counting Ferguson out and believing his career to be at an end, but one loss doesn’t define a fighter. How Tony Ferguson comes back from the loss will define him, and Ferguson isn’t showing any signs of giving up just yet.
Charles Oliveira, currently ranked No. 7, is riding an impressive 7 fight win streak that all came by finishes. Oliveira is coming off the biggest win of his career so far when he submitted former interim title challenger Kevin Lee in the third round back in March. Oliveira holds the record for the most submission victories in UFC history at 14 and is also tied for the most finishes in UFC history at 16. Since Oliveira has so many submission victories, many people just expect Oliveira to try to take the fight to the ground and submit his opponent, but Oliveira has been working on his striking and has knocked out two of his opponents during his impressive win streak. Oliveira is a skilled guy, patient but aggressive, uses his kicks to the legs and stomach to slow his opponents down and create an opening to either knock his opponent out, or submit them in an instant. This is without a doubt the biggest fight in Oliveira’s career so far and taking out a veteran like Ferguson almost guarantees a title shot.
The last UFC PPV of 2020 is a stacked card and I can’t wait. I’m picking Tony Ferguson to win by decision and Deiveson Figueiredo to win by first round submission. Catch all of the amazing fights this Saturday on ESPN+ PPV!
Tidwell's pick record: 11-7