There might be one more UFC show to go this year, but as far as pay-per-views are concerned, UFC 256 was a great way to end 2020.
The show had some absolutely fantastic fights from top to bottom, and the whole thing was topped off by an insane UFC Flyweight title fight in the main event.
Here are the best and worst moments from UFC 256: Figueiredo vs. Moreno.
#1 Best: Figueiredo and Moreno put on the best Flyweight fight in UFC history
It’s easy to get caught up in hyperbole after a big UFC event like last night’s, but it wouldn't be an overreaction to call Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno the best Flyweight fight in UFC history.
Simply put, this fight was insane. Both men only agreed to take the fight after they’d competed at UFC 255 just three weeks ago, so to see them go to war for five rounds without slowing down at all was jaw-dropping.
Personally, I felt like Figueiredo deserved the nod. I know he keeps his UFC Flyweight title with the majority draw, but despite Moreno’s best efforts, I felt like the Brazilian won the first, second, and fifth rounds.
I also had Figueiredo winning the third round – and I felt like Jason Herzog’s decision to deduct him a point for a single, admittedly bad foul was harsh.
However, to see Moreno standing up to the brute power of Figueiredo and taking the fight to him as nobody else had done in UFC was massively impressive.
As there’s no clear-cut top contender at Flyweight right now UFC should definitely run this back in 2021. It was an instant classic.
#1 Worst: Rogan and Cormier create an unfair narrative in the main event
On a UFC show as good as this, it’s always tricky to pinpoint “worst” moments. For me though, the low point came, surprisingly enough, in the brilliant main event.
I will preface this by saying that I’ve been watching UFC for 18 years now, and I think Joe Rogan is a genuinely fantastic commentator. His enthusiasm for the sport of MMA never wanes, and he’s brilliant at breaking down some of the exchanges in the Octagon, particularly on the ground.
However, he’s always had a couple of major weaknesses. One is that he tends to find a narrative before a fight and attempts to push it regardless of what’s happening inside the cage. And the second is that if a big underdog is doing better than expected – as Brandon Moreno did last night – he’ll completely over-sell their success.
This issue raised its head at UFC 255 last month, when Rogan talked up Jennifer Maia heavily throughout her losing effort against UFC Flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko, but it was probably worse last night.
If you’d been watching the main event blindly, you’d have probably believed Moreno was winning handily, simply because Rogan and Daniel Cormier seemed to be talking up his chances so much. It was completely unfair to Deiveson Figueiredo, considering, for the most part, he was ahead in the fight.
Rogan still has plenty to offer in UFC – and Cormier is a great commentator in his own right – but maybe UFC President Dana White should have a word with them about creating a false narrative as they did last night.