Dan White and the crew did not fail to stack the last PPV event of the year for fight fans. The card is headlined with the flyweight title between Brandon Moreno vs. Deiveson Figueredo. Both fighters fought on the last PPV card three weeks ago as they cap off the card full of big named fighters.
The card starts with DWCS prospects between Chase Hooper and Peter Barret. Both fighters are coming off losses and are looking to start the new year with a win. Hooper is the bigger prospect here and has the more versatile game hence why a big favorite. Barrett is a scrappy fighter who will not go easy, so expect the card to start with a good start.
Later on, in the card, we get a full tilt match-up between Renato Moicano and Rafael Fiziev. Up until last year, Moicano was fighting at the top of the featherweight division, but after back-to-back TKO losses, he moved up to lightweight. In his last fight, he earned a submission win in under a minute, displaying his high skill level. He deserves to fight the top of the lightweight division and Rafael Fiziev comes as a tough challenger.
Fiziev is a striker who has some of the heaviest leg kicks in the division and likes to use them throughout the whole fight to weaken his opponents and have them less mobile. This is a statement win for either fighter, and the winner of this fight is in for a top 10/15 opponent next.
To cap off the undercard, we have the always entertaining Cub Swanson as he takes on Daniel Pineda. Swanson is coming off a badly needed win over Kron Gracie after losing four in a row. Pineda was recently signed to the UFC from PFL and defeated Herbert Burns, who is Gilbert Burns’ brother, and an exciting prospect. On paper, this should be a brawl and whoever lands the first big blow will likely finish the opponent.
An important thing to see is if Pineda wins, will the UFC cut ties with Swanson. That would be Swanson’s 5th loss in six fights, and Dana White said they are going to be cutting big names, and given Swanson’s age, it might be asked if they move on from the vet who’s been with the company since 2011.
The main card starts with a heavyweight slugfest between Junior Dos Santos and Ciryl Gane. This is the classic veteran vs. prospect fight. JDS has seen it all and continues to fight to see if he still has it in him to fight the best. Ciryl Gane checks off all the boxes for a promising prospect: size, speed, and endurance. Gane only has six professional fights and continues to look better every time he fights. This a great stepping stone for Gane as he looks to climb up the rankings as a win against a former champ builds up his resume. JDS also has been knocked out in his last 3 fights, so if Gane finishes him, Dana White might be asked if this JDS’ last fight with the organization.
Next, we get to see Kevin Holland take on Jacare Souza. Jacare enters the ring for the first time this year after previously testing positive for covid right before UFC 249. He comes back down to middleweight after fighting at light heavyweight in his last fight. Holland, on the other hand, has been the busiest fighter in the UFC. This will be Holland’s fifth fight this year, and was supposed to fight Hermansson last week, but had to do some opponent shuffling when he tested positive for COVID a couple of weeks ago.
A win here for Holland puts him in the driver’s seat for the fighter of the year, depending on how Figueredo does in the main event. Holland has been vocal about how much he has improved and how active he wants to be. Jacare will measure Holland’s skills as Jacare rarely gets finished in his losses and is a threat if the fight goes to the mat. The time is now for Holland to prove to everyone he deserves to be a top-10 fighter.
Then, we have our only women’s fight on the main card between two Brazilians: Mackenzie Dern and Virna Jandiroba. Dern is a submission specialist with three of her four wins in the UFC have come via submission, but her skills will be tested against another black belt BJJ fighter in Virna Jandiroba. Jandiroba’s two wins in the UFC have also come via submission. Sometimes fights with two fighters with tremendous grappling and submission skills will either go to the mat very early, or it won’t go to the mat at all. Both fighters can submit their opponent from anywhere, so it will be interesting to see which fighter will engage the clinch first.
El Cucuy is finally back in the co-main event as he will fight Charles Oliveira. Tony Ferguson enters the ring bringing a lot of noise as he always does. He is trying to avenge after his first loss in 12 fights as he wants to fight for the title again. He was supposed to fight Khabib for the fourth time in his last fight, but what seems to be the most cursed fight of all time, was canceled as Khabib could not travel for it.
Nevertheless, Tony got dominated in his last fight, but it doesn’t seem to slow down his spirit as he is still showing his confidence and his crazy pre-fight antics. We should expect Ferguson to apply the pressure early out of the gate as it is only a three-round fight.
Charles Oliveira has been on an absolute run since moving back to lightweight in 2017. Since then, he has picked up six submission wins, two T/KO wins, and only one loss to Paul Felder back in 2017. Oliveira seems to have figured out his game as he holds the record for most submissions (14) in the UFC. Oliveira undoubtedly has the best jiu-jitsu in the division, so fans are gonna look at how it matches up with Ferguson’s grappling as Ferguson loves implementing his sharp elbows on the ground. This fight is the people’s event on the card as the winner will add fuel to the discussion of who should fight for the lightweight title next.
Finally, in the main event, we get the two best arguably at the moment in the flyweight. Both fighters proved three weeks ago that they are the best and the UFC wanted to have them fight sooner rather than later as both are healthy and willing to fight now. Moreno seems to be the best match-up for Figueredo as he has good striking, but more importantly, is fast in transitions.
Moreno does not slow down over the fights, but Figueredo is a different beast in the division. He is significantly bigger when he’s in the ring than when he is at weigh-ins and is also a violent striker with silky strong submissions. For Moreno to win this fight, he has to give his best performance and has to be very careful when engaging as Figueredo can end the fight at any moment.
- 1u Oliveira ml
- 1 u Moicana
- 1u Dern/Jandiroba under 2.5 rounds
- 2u parlay Hooper/Figueredo ml
- 3 u Pineda