The UFC returns to action this Saturday, December 12th, for UFC 256: Figueiredo vs Moreno, at the APEX Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In the main event, UFC flyweight Deiveson Figueiredo will defend his title against Brandon Moreno. This will be Figueiredo’s second title defense in as many months and he is headlining a second consecutive numbered event. Meanwhile, Tony Ferguson will fight for the first time since losing to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249. El Cucuy will take on the 7th ranked Charles Oliveira in the co-main event.

Let’s take a look at the fights and pick our winners:

“Fighting" Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno

Deiveson Figueiredo is the current UFC flyweight champion. The 32-year old Brazilian fought for Jungle Fight and Coalizao Fight Night before joining the UFC. “Deus Da Guerra” is 9-1 with seven stoppages inside the UFC octagon and has won five in a row since losing to Jussier Formiga in March 2019. Figueiredo is 5-5 tall with a reach of 68 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. His overall record is 20-1 with nine knockouts and eight submissions.

Brandon Moreno is the former LFA flyweight champion and WFF flyweight champion. The 27-year old from Tijuana, Mexico made three successful title defenses of the WFF title before joining the UFC via the TUF: Tournament of Champions. Moreno started his UFC career with a 3-2 record and left for the LFA. Since his return, Moreno is 4-0-1 with two knockouts. He is 5-7 tall with a reach of 68 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. Moreno’s record is 18-5 with three knockouts and ten wins via submission.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 12/11/2020

It’s hard to bet against Figueiredo because he’s looked unstoppable and scary as of late. If you compare the two, Figueiredo’s striking is cleaner. But Moreno has excellent scrambling and a very good submission game that can match Figueiredo on the mat. He has also displayed improved striking in his recent bouts and has a two-inch reach advantage. Knowing that he’s never been finished, I won’t blame you if you take the plus money and pick Moreno. I think Moreno is a live underdog here but I think Figueiredo’s heavy hands will drop Moreno and lead to a stoppage win for the champ. Whether it’s via ground and pound or submission, Figueiredo keeps his belt here.

Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo

“Fighting" Tony Ferguson vs Charles Oliveira

Tony Ferguson is the no.3 ranked lightweight in the UFC. The 36-year old from Oxnard, California won The Ultimate Fighter 13 tournament and a former interim UFC lightweight champion. El Cucuy set the longest winning streak in lightweight history with 12 consecutive wins. That streak ended at UFC 249 when he lost to Justin Gaethje via TKO. Ferguson’s last nine bouts have earned him a post-fight bonus and he is 25-4 with 12 knockouts and 8 wins via submission. He stands 5-11 tall with a reach of 76 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

Charles Oliveira is the 7th ranked lightweight in the UFC. The 31-year old from Sao Paulo, Brazil holds the UFC record for most submission wins with 14, and tied for the most finished with 16. He also has 16 post-fight bonuses including six in his last seven bouts. Do Bronx heads to this fight with a seven bout winning streak and all of those wins have been by stoppage. Oliveira is 5-10 tall with a reach of 74 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 29-8 with 8 knockouts and 19 wins via submission.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 12/11/2020

Oliveira is worth the look here at plus money because not only is he on a roll right now but he also has a vert elite ground game. However, Ferguson has a high-level BJJ and excellent takedown defense that’s not gonna make it easy for Oliveira. On the feet, El Cucuy has a clear advantage in the striking game and could end things in a hurry if he gets into a rhythm early. While he’s getting up there in age and is coming off a knockout loss, El Cucuy was one of the hottest fighters before he was upset by Gaethje. He is also the more balanced fighter here so I’ll take Tony Ferguson at a reasonable price.

Prediction: Tony Ferguson

“Fighting" Renato Moicano vs Rafael Fiziev

Renato Moicano is the former interim Jungle Fight featherweight champion. The 31-year old from Brasilia, Brazil went undefeated in his first 12 fights which included three UFC wins. He suffered his first loss to Brian Ortega at UFC 214 and has gone 2-2 since then. Moicano is coming off a submission win over Damir Hadzovic in his lightweight debut. He is 5-11 tall with a reach of 72 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. Moicano has a record of 14-3 with seven submission wins.

Rafael Fiziev is a Kyrgyzstani policeman who is a former Muay Thai fighter. The 27-year old fought for Titan FC before joining the UFC last year. After losing to Magomed Mustafaev in his UFC debut, Fiziev has picked up back-to-back wins including a Fight of the Night winner against Marc Diakiese. He is a switch hitter who stands 5-8 tall with a reach of 71 inches and is a switch hitter. His record stands at 8-1 with five knockouts and one win via submission.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 12/11/2020

Moicano has a high-level BJJ background, the edge in grappling, and has a terrific gas tank. He likes to drag his opponents to deep waters and finish them. However, Fiziev’s kicks and ability to switch stances make it difficult for his opponents to close the distance. Fiziev also has very good takedown defense so I’m not sure if Moicano can take this fight where he wants it to go.

Prediction Rafael Fiziev

“Fighting" Kevin Holland vs Jacare Souza

Kevin Holland is the 15th ranked middleweight in the UFC. The 28-year old from Riverside, California is a former XKO welterweight and middleweight champion. Holland had a stint at the Contender Series before joining the UFC. After losing to Thiago Santos in his Octagon debut, Holland has won seven out of his last eight bouts. Holland is 4-0 in 2020 with all of his wins coming at the APEX Facility. He is 20-5 with nine knockouts and seven submission wins. Holland is 6-3 tall with a reach of 81 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance.

Jacare Souza is a former Strikeforce middleweight champion who also fought for DREAM and Jungle Fight. The 41-year old Brazilian owns wins over three former UFC champions in Robbie Lawler, Chris Weidman, and Vitor Belfort. This former ADCC world champion has lost four out of his last six bouts and is coming off back to back losses to Jack Hermansson and Jan Blachowicz. He is 6-1 tall with a record of 72 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 26-8 with 8 knockouts and 14 wins via submission.

What are the Moneyline Odds?






Odds from BetOnline as of 12/11/2020

You can’t overlook someone like Jacare Souza who is a veteran and former Strikeforce champion who is also a decorated submission grappler. However, he is already 41 years old, coming off a COVID-19 infection, and has been in bad form in recent fights. Meanwhile, Kevin Holland has yet to lose inside the APEX Facility in four bouts. When you look at the tale of the tape, Holland has a nine-inch reach advantage here and that should help keep Souza off him. TrailBlazer has the confidence factor and he needs only a couple of big shots to put away the veteran. At the same price, conventional wisdom tells me to go with the fighter who is on a roll.

Prediction: Kevin Holland

“Fighting" Junior Dos Santos vs Cyril Gane

Junior Dos Santos is the former UFC heavyweight champion. He is the no. 7 ranked heavyweight in the UFC and has wins over five UFC champions: Fabricio Werdum, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, Shane Carwin, and Stipe Miocic. The 36-year old Brazilian has lost his last three bouts, all via knockout. Cigano stands 6-4 tall with a reach of 77 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance. His record is 21-8 with 15 knockouts and one win via submission.

Cyril Gane is the 14th ranked heavyweight in the UFC. The 30-year old Frenchman is a former TKO heavyweight champion who joined last year. Gane is undefeated in six bouts with two knockouts and three submission wins. He is coming off a decision win over Tanner Boser at UFC on ESPN +23. Gane stands 6-4 tall with a reach of 81 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance.

What are the Moneyline Odds?

Dos Santos





Odds from BetOnline as of 12/11/2020

It’s okay to go with the plus money especially with a former champion who has legit knockout power. However, when you take a look at Cigano’s losing streak, it’s hard to find value in the former champion. Dos Santos hasn’t just lost a step or two. He’s lost a lot of his movement. His reflexes look slower and he’s taking plenty of punishment this year. Gane is the naturally bigger fighter here. He has good striking and has heavy hands as well. Despite being a relative newcomer, Gane has a good takedown offense. With how bad Dos Santos has looked in his recent fights, I don’t see how he beats a younger, faster, and hungrier opponent.

Prediction: Cyril Gane

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