All posts by Christian Olivera

UFC 256 Preview: Figueiredo Vs. Moreno

After securing a win in under two minutes at UFC 255, flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo plans to make a fast turnaround in an attempt to successfully defend his title just one month later at UFC 256 on Dec. 12. Figueiredo will be putting his title on the line against top 125-pound contender Brandon Moreno, who is coming off his own UFC 255 victory.

Figueiredo and Moreno are making such quick returns to the Octagon in an effort to save the pay-per-view event, which has lost three planned title matches as welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes and bantamweight champion Petr Yan were all forced off the card. Figueiredo will be making his second defense of the flyweight title he won in a vacant title bout with Joseph Benavidez earlier in the year and successfully defended in November against Alex Perez. A victory over Moreno would move Figueiredo to 4-0 in 2020, and may be considered a contender for Fighter of the Year.

In the co-main event, Tony Ferguson will be returning to the Octagon for the first time since his tragic loss to Justin Gaethje in May, a loss that cost him the shot at Khabib Nurmagomedov and the UFC lightweight title. Ferguson will be going up against Charles Oliveira, the man who currently holds the record for most submissions in UFC history and is tied for most finishes overall in the history of the organization. Oliveira will bring a seven-fight winning streak into the Octagon. Ferguson, meanwhile, had a 12-fight winning streak broken in the loss to Gaethje.

UFC 256 Fight Card Odds

  • Deiveson Figueiredo (c) -300 vs. Brandon Moreno +240, flyweight championship
  • Tony Ferguson -170 vs. Charles Oliveira +145, lightweights

UFC 256 Info

  • Date: Saturday, Dec. 12
  • Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Start time: 10 p.m. ET (Main card) 
  • How to watch: ESPN+ PPV

UFC 255 Results: Figueiredo Wins First Title Defense In Under 2 Minutes

Deiveson Figueiredo’s first title defense in the UFC was a quick and successful one.

At UFC 255 last Saturday, UFC flyweight champion Figueiredo submitted Alex Perez with a guillotine choke at 1:57 of the very first round. Early on, Figueiredo and Perez exchanged hard significant strikes on the feet. When Perez caught a Figueiredo kick, the champion pulled for a leg submission. When Perez tried to pounce on his downed opponent, he rolled right into Figueiredo’s guard and was swiftly choked out.

In his first title defense, Figueiredo extended his winning streak to five straight victories. Over the span of his 10 UFC fights, seven out of those ten resulted in a finish, including a  title-clinching submission on former champion Joseph Benavidez in a match for the vacant belt on July 19th. With this loss, Perez had his three-fight winning streak broke. His only other promotional loss came to four-time UFC title holder Benavidez in November 2018.

Perez was not Figueiredo’s original scheduled opponent. Figueiredo was booked to fight former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. However, Garbrandt pulled out of the fight in October due to health issues.

During this fight card, there was a number one contender match for who is going to face Figueiredo next for the Flyweight belt. In this preliminary fight, Brandon Moreno continued to succeed in the organization, but in an unusual fashion. This action-packed fight between Moreno & Brandon Royval ended after Royval suffered a shoulder injury in the closing seconds of Round 1. The fight was stopped just before the first round ended at the 4:59 mark when Royval was in excruciating pain after his shoulder popped out of his socket. He stopped defending himself from Moreno’s ground-and-pound which resulted in the referee stopping the fight.

Prior to his win, Moreno walked up to the cameras while in the cage still and continued to say “I want my belt.” With this victory Moreno was able to get his shot at the title and will be fighting Figueiredo in the main event at UFC 256 on Dec. 12.

UFC 255 Preview: Figueiredo VS. Perez

The UFC  is gearing up for what could be the biggest night in the history of the flyweight division as not one, but TWO championship titles will be on the line in the UFC 255 PPV event. Headlining the espn+  main card, which takes place this Saturday night inside APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, Alex Perez will step in to challenge Deiveson Figueiredo for the 125-pound belt. Before that five-round showcase gets underway, women’s flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko will attempt to dominate the uprising of surging division contender Jennifer Maia.

There will be no easy outs for Figueiredo in his quest to build a flyweight title reign. Even though former bantamweight king Cody Garbrandt pulled out with an injury, red-hot Alex Perez expects to be a formidable out having won 7 of 8 inside the Octagon and fresh off a pair of stoppage wins. While both are well-rounded, Perez’s preference of standing and trading could lead to his downfall as Figueiredo brings more firepower to the dance and seems ready to destroy anyone who steps in front of him.

Perez is a talented fighter with the ability to get a finish against almost anyone at 125 pounds. That said, Figueiredo is the better finisher and slightly more dangerous both on the feet and on the ground. Perez will likely look to push the pace, and that means he’ll be putting himself directly in danger of falling victim to Figueiredo’s power as Joseph Benavidez. Figueiredo doesn’t let people off the hook and Perez is likely to find that out on Saturday night.

Dana White’s Contender Series Results: Three More Fighters Score a UFC Deal

Week 9 of Dana White’s Contender Series 2020 aired on Tuesday night. As far as DWCS cards this season have gone, the 35th installment of the show was an interesting one.

A last minute replacement, Natan Levy stepped up, preventing a rehash of the previous week, which saw just four fights. Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz looked to be the next Canadian to win a UFC contract, after the success of T.J. Laramie earlier this year. Joseph Lowry was getting his second look on the show, after coming up short against Devonte Smith previously. And Danny Sabatello vs. Taylor Moore was a fight that was practically UFC-level in all but name.

Replacement fighter Natan Levy managed to get Shaheen Santana down in the opening round of their lightweight scrap. From there, he worked on a kimura, americana, and generally showed a great top game. Lots of control time, and a fair bit of ground n’ pound, won the round for Levy, after a bit of a shakey start on the feet. In the second, Levy showed some power in his kicks before pursuing a takedown but after being rocked, Santana managed to take Levy’s back while standing, locking in a body triangle. Santana transitioned to an arm-bar, but Levy was out quickly enough, leaving him on top once again. In the third round, Levy finally sealed the deal. Once again on top, he locked in an arm-triangle choke, and put Santana to sleep!

Dana White’s Contender Series Season 4, Week 9 Results

Mário Sousa def. Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Natan Levy def. Shaheen Santana by technical submission (arm-triangle choke), Round 3, 0:55
Nikolas Motta def. Joe Lowry by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Luana Pinheiro def. Stephanie Frausto by knockout, Round 1, 2:48
Danny Sabatello def. Taylor Moore by unanimous decision (30-24, 30-25, 30-26)

Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 8 Preview

Now that the UFC is back in Vegas, Dana White’s Contender Series gets to resume to end the run for the year. This should add some more action for the week if you’re in the market for more fights during your week and care to see the new crop of exciting prospects.

And what a crop this is. Main event honors for this week go to Carlos Ulberg (2-0), a City Kickboxing rep and teammate of UFC champions Israel Adesanya and Alex Volkanovski. While his mixed martial arts record is shallow, he’s quite the exciting kickboxer that’s been doing damage and looks to stay on the MMA side of things. But first he’s got to square off with Brazil’s Bruno Oliveira (8-1), who only last year had his first and only fight stateside for Titan FC. That fight was a tough one to watch because maybe the ref had better things to think about during the fight. Also a teammate of former RIZIN talent and Jungle Fight champ Bruno Cappelozza, Oliveira has a fair amount of polish on his striking but may be overpowered here. His game on the ground may be enough to get him by, but Ulberg seems to be the more technical and disciplined of the two, and clearly the one with the better support system and coaching staff.

The co-main event is another one of the strange fights we’ve been treated to in the Contender Series, with Chilean Ignacio Bahamondes (10-3). Training out of Illinois along with Alejandro Flores and Yair Rodriguez, he’s got patience, some slick hands and not-quite-great takedown defense but can work his way back up off the floor. He’s still green, but has a fair amount of hope as a prospect. And his opponent is Edson Gomez, a fighter that has a MMA record of 6-1 despite being a pro since 2015. His first few fights were in Gladiator Challenge, then he moved up to King of the Cage. One of his Gladiator Challenge opponents was 0-8 at the time, and his bounceback fight after his lone loss in King of the Cage was against another fighter who at the time was 2-5. He’s a strong striker that muscles his way through takedowns, but this is an odd matchup from top to bottom. Perhaps Gomez has an impressive enough set of finishes for the brass to overlook everything else here, but there’s almost always a fight on these cards that has a handful of red flags, and this is it.

UFC 254 Results: Khabib Retires A Champion

Last Saturday, Khabib Nurmagomedov retired as arguably the greatest UFC fighter of all time. At UFC 254 Nurmagomedov was able to retain his UFC World Lightweight title against his opponent, Interim Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje by a triangle choke submission early in the second round. Nurmagomedov was able to take Gathje down very easily in the second round and got right into the top mount position. From there he skilfully turned that into a triangle choke and put gathje to sleep forcing the official to stop the fight, as Nurmagomedov improved to an undefeated record of 29-0.

Following his victory, Khabib dedicated the fight to his father who recently passed away over the summer and announced that it was his last fight. Prior to the fight, Khabib spoke with his mother and promised her that it was going to be his last fight because she only wants her son to fight with his father in his corner.

There is no doubt that Khabib will not be returning to the UFC without his father here. Following his retirement, this leaves the Lightweight division wide open for a new champion. With quite the stacked weight class, there are many names that could be chosen to potentially fight for the title. Superstars like Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson, & Justin Gaethje.

UFC 254 Preview: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje

The UFC 254 main event is arguably the most anticipated fight of 2020. Undefeated lightweight king, Khabib Nurmagomedov (28-0), will be defending his crown against the interim champion, Justin Gaethje  (22-2).

This fight is trending to be one of the biggest UFC fights of all time. Nurmagomedov has become such a global superstar since becoming champion in the UFC. The dominant Russian is a rare fighter who’s level of domination is unheard of. Nurmagomedov is so special because he tells his opponents exactly what he’s going to do during the fight. Somehow his opponents still can’t stop it. Nurmagomedov has ragdolled superstars in the sport like Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Edson Barboza, Rafael Dos Anjos, and many more on his run for dominance.

This year has been a tough year for Nurmagomedov. The champion lost his father this past summer, he was also his trainer. This fight sees Nurmagomedov with a different kind of motivation to finish the journey that he started with his father years ago.

2020 has been a great year for Justin Gaethje in terms of his career in the UFC organization. After the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Nurmagomedov – Tony Ferguson matchup to be cancelled, the UFC called on Justin Gaethje to step up against Ferguson. He went on to defeat Ferguson at UFC 249 to capture the interim title. Justin Gaethje fought that night looking like the best lightweight on the planet. His precision power striking along with his ability to stay composed for all five rounds was remarkable.

They say that styles makes fights. Stylistically, Justin Gaethje is the toughest opponent for Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC. Gaethje has incredibly good and powerful leg kicks which can zap anyone’s base very quickly. In addition to that, he hands are extremely fast and carries a lot of power with his swings. It only takes one clean shot to hurt you with Gaethje. On top of that, he’s an All-American wrestler who might be able to hold his own against Nurmagomedov.

If Justin Gaethje can keep the fight standing the majority of the time, he’s going to win tomorrow afternoon. However, that would mean Gaethje would pull off something that nobody has been able to do in 28 fights. Gaethje definitely has the skills to get it done tomorrow. However, most people find it hard to bet against Nurmagomedov. Gaethje is looking to find some success early, but eventually, Nurmagomedov will be able to do what he does best as well, and that’s dominate.

Preview – UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Jung

This very busy month for the UFC continutes tonight with another Fight Night on ESPN+. UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Jung will once again bring us back to UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for another great night of fights, including a meeting of two great featherweight contenders. A future title shot could very well be on the line in tonight’s main event when two of the best in the UFC’s featherweight division step into the octagon. 

This bout is being advertised as a title eliminator, so the stakes here are clear. For Jung, that’s a step that makes sense, as “Korean Zombie” has leveled up in the last couple years. He’s hitting harder and scoring knockouts with a viciousness that is rather intimidating, to the point that fans were already arguing he receive a title shot. Ortega is in something of an opposite situation, having sat on the sidelines for nearly two years following his beating at the hands of Max Holloway. Somehow, this may also be a title eliminator for “T-City” as well, which would be quite the reversal of fortunes.

UFC Fight Night Preview Moraes vs. Sandhagen

Tomorrow night’s main event on UFC Fight Island 5 is a bantamweight bout between some of the top contenders in the division, as Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen battle in a fight tomorrow night that could go away to determining who gets a chance in the future for a title shot.

Having been a champion prior to this fight in the WSOF before entering the UFC, Moraes is a proven bantamweight top talent. On the other side of the octagon will be Sandhagen, who has also been an up-and-comer in the organization himself. Sandhagen has had an opportunity to try and fight for the belt before, so this weekend on Fight Island 5 he’s looking to get redemption.

The co-main event of UFC Fight Island 5 will see one of the best strikers in this sport, Edson Barboza, look to change his momentum back to winning ways and get his first win at featherweight. His opponent, submission specialist Makwan Amirkhani, looks to earn a second straight win after finishing Danny Henry that helped him rebound from a TKO loss at the hands of Shane Burgos.

UFC 253 Results

Israel Adesanya reminded the world why he’s the middleweight king on Fight Island. UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya came into Saturday night’s title fight with an undefeated 19-0 record. His opponent, Paulo Costa, entered the fight also with an undefeated record of 13-0. And when the UFC 253 main event began and it was time for these two men to put their unbeaten records on the line, Adesanya completely outclassed Costa. And he did so in style, picking the Brazilian apart from the start with kicks to his lead leg, the torso and the head. He slowed Costa down, bloodied him, then finished him in the second round at the 3:59 minute marker. Adesanya was able to show off everything he had.

The light heavyweight title fight between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz was the co main event in UFC 253. Jan Blachowicz broke Dominick Reyes’ nose during the fight, and then his spirit, on his way to claiming the vacant light heavyweight title at UFC 253 with a second-round TKO on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.