The UFC is back at its APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada with the final pay-per-view of the season. And with an amazing line-up of fights, it promises to be a firecracker of an event.
In the headliner, UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo is ever so close to creating history by becoming the first man in UFC history to make two successful title defenses in the span of just one month. Standing in his way is top-contender Brandon Moreno who himself is making the quickest turnaround for a title fight in just 21 days. Both Moreno and Figueiredo competed in last month's UFC 255 PPV and bagged big wins over Brandon Royval and Alex Perez respectively.
In the co-main event of the night, former interim lightweight champion takes on Charles Oliveira in a fight that will potentially determine the next title challenger at the 155lbs division. Tony Ferguson was on an incredible 12-fight winning streak before getting finished by Justin Gaethje in an interim title bout at UFC 249 in May. Charles Oliveira is on an impressive seven-fight winning streak and holds the record for the most submission wins in UFC history.
Other fights on the card include a women's strawweight bout between Mackenzie Dern and Virna Jandiroba; a heavyweight duel between former champion Junior Dos Santos and hot prospect Ciryl Gane; and a middleweight clash between Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Kevin Holland.
Without further ado, let's jump into the highlights of all the action from the UFC 256 main card.
UFC 256 main card
Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno - Majority Draw (R5 - 05:00)
Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno went to war in the main event of UFC 256, which turned out to be a fitting finale for the final pay-per-view of the year. The pair engaged in a back and forth slugfest for five long rounds and it was still impossible to pick out a winner as the fight was declared a majority draw. It was most certainly one of the greatest fights of the year.
Brandon Moreno showed tremendous heart as Figueiredo tested his granite chin with the nastiest haymakers that a flyweight could throw. Moreno kept grinding and surviving until the third round and that's when the champion started to slow down. After being dominated in the opening rounds, Moreno brought the fight to Figueiredo in the third and fourth rounds, hitting the champ with a barrage of straight rights and left hooks.
Deiveson got rocked in the fourth round, and it looked like it could be the perfect underdog story. However, that wasn't the case as the champion clawed his way back into the bout in the fifth round, keeping his distance and tagging away at the Mexican who was by then carrying a shoulder injury that prevented him from throwing his left hand. A takedown by Figueiredo at the end of the fight ensured that he retains his title tonight but a rematch is definitely on the cards.
With the draw, Deiveson Figueiredo becomes the first man in UFC history to successfully defend his title twice in the span of just one month.
Charles Oliveira beats Tony Ferguson via unanimous decision (R3 - 05:00)
Charles Oliveira is for real! The Brazilian stole the spotlight from Tony Ferguson during what many thought would be the fight that marked the latter's comeback after the devastating defeat against Justin Gaethje.
'Do Bronx' manhandled Tony Ferguson for three straight rounds, possibly even breaking 'El Cucuy's' arm, and picked up a lopsided unanimous decision to win in the co-main event of UFC 256. Ferguson got completely outclassed on the ground as well as on the feet in a fight which turned out to be a grappling masterclass by Oliveira. In fact, this is probably the most dominant anyone has ever been against Tony Ferguson inside the cage.
Do Bronx is now on an incredible eight-fight win streak inside the octagon and likely to challenge for the title next. During the post-fight interview, Oliveira said he might be present in Abu Dhabi to keep a close eye on the rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at UFC 257. The winner of the fight is likely to square off against Oliveira with the seemingly vacant lightweight title on the line.
Mackenzie Dern beats Virna Jandiroba via unanimous decision (R3 - 05:00)
Mackenzie Dern fought her way through adversity and a broken nose to pick up a well-deserved unanimous decision win against Virna Jandiroba at UFC 256. All three judges scored the fight 29-28, 29-28, and 29-28 in favor of Dern.
Dern, who is usually known for her prolific grappling skills showed another dimension to her game tonight as she relied on her striking to win the fight. Dern probably clinched the win with a flurry of punches towards the end of the third and final round.
Following her last fight, Dern started training with boxing coach Jason Parillo and she has clearly improved her striking skills. In the post-fight interview, Dern credited Parillo for improving her striking technique.
"I think I have those haymakers, but I think I've gotten a little more technical under Coach Parillo".
Kevin Holland beats Jacare Souza via TKO (R1 - 01:45)
Ahead of his middleweight bout against Jacare Souza, Kevin Holland promised that he would hurt the Brazilian fight game veteran even if the fight went to the ground, and he did. Against one of the best grapplers in the UFC, Holland bagged a first-round TKO win with punches from the bottom. With the win, Holland now extends his perfect record in 2020 to 5-0.
Heading into the fight, Souza was being rated as the much superior grappler between the pair and he was in a dominant position on the top as the fight went to the ground. However, it was Holland who generated power from his hip to land a nasty right hand from the bottom that landed clean on Souza's forehead.
The Brazilian was stunned by the shot and Holland pounced on the opportunity by cracking Souza with another right hand. As Souza was reeling from the surprise strikes from the bottom, Holland pounced on his opponent and piled on the misery with some nasty ground-and-pound, picking up a huge stoppage win in the process.
Following his win, Kevin Holland called out the promotion's latest superstar, Khamzat Chimaev. Holland claimed that he is ready to return to the octagon within a week and asked for a December 19 showdown against the Swede.
Ciryl Gane beats Junior dos Santos via TKO (R2 - 02:34)
Arguably the greatest fighter of all time, Georges St-Pierre had predicted a major surprise for the fans in the main card opening fight at UFC 256 and that's exactly what went down when Ciryl Gane met Junior dos Santos tonight.
Surging contender Ciryl Gane finished former champion Junior dos Santos via TKO in the second round during their heavyweight encounter at UFC 256. A hard jab from Gane rocked dos Santos as the latter was trying to walk the Frenchman down. A vicious knee to the body followed by a right elbow to the face by Gane was then enough to put dos Santos to sleep as the former picked up the biggest win of his career.
Ciryl Gane now has four straight wins inside the octagon and is tied with Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes for the longest active winning streak in the UFC heavyweight division.
UFC 256 preliminary card results
Cub Swanson beats Daniel Pineda by TKO (R2 - 01:52)
Rafael Fiziev beats Renato Moicano via TKO (R1 - 04:05)
Gavin Tucker beats Billy Quarantillo via unanimous decision (R3 - 05:00)
Tecia Torres beats Sam Hughes via TKO (R1 - 05:00)
UFC 256 early preliminary card results
Chase Hooper beats Peter Barrett via submission (R3-03:02)