Sports·UFC 256

Figueiredo, Moreno cap tumultuous year for UFC with wild majority draw

Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno fought to a thrilling majority draw at UFC 256 on Saturday, with Figuereido setting a UFC record with two defences of his flyweight title in three weeks.

Canada's Gavin Tucker claims 3rd-straight win, Oliveira dominates Ferguson

Less than one month after both men picked up wins, Deiveson Figueiredo, right, and Brandon Moreno battled to a majority draw at UFC 256 on Saturday. (@UFC_CA/Twitter)

Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno fought to a thrilling majority draw at UFC 256 on Saturday, with Figuereido setting a UFC record with two defences of his flyweight title in three weeks.

Lightweight contender Charles Oliveira also earned his eighth consecutive victory by unanimous decision after dominating former champion Tony Ferguson on the ground at the Apex gym on the UFC's corporate campus.

Just 21 days after Figueiredo (20-1-1) stopped Alex Perez for his first title defence at UFC 255, the Brazilian returned to the cage and survived a perilous stalemate with Moreno (18-5-2), who also fought at UFC 255.

With a stirring mid-fight rally after a low blow left him in pain on the canvas, Moreno came agonizingly close to becoming the first Mexican-born champion in UFC history.

Referee Jason Herzog took a point from Figueiredo in the third round for the low kick, and Figueiredo's mistake proved crucial: One judge scored it 48-47 for Figueiredo, but the other two had it 47-47. The Associated Press also scored it 47-47.

Figueiredo and Moreno traded big shots from the opening minutes, with both fighters showing power belying their 125-pound frames. Moreno took significant damage around his right eye in the first two rounds, but he also peppered Figueiredo with shots and controlled the champion when they went to the ground.

Moreno was in serious pain after Figueiredo's low blow, but he gathered himself and unleashed on Figueiredo for the rest of the round. Moreno also looked sharper in the fourth round, but Figueiredo rallied with power in the fifth.

Figueiredo and Moreno capped the final pay-per-view event of a tumultuous year for the UFC, the first major North American sports organization to return to competition amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Oliveira dominates Ferguson

Oliveira (30-8) left no doubt about his worthiness for a title shot in his one-sided victory over Ferguson (25-5), who lost his second fight in 2020 after going 12-0 over the previous seven years. The brawl-loving veteran took a monstrous beating seven months ago in a loss to Justin Gaethje.

Oliveira won 30-26 on all three judges' cards. Only four active UFC fighters have longer winning streaks than the Brazilian submission specialist.

Oliveira cemented his championship credentials in the UFC's deepest weight class by controlling most of every round against Ferguson. He sunk in a nasty armbar in the closing seconds of the first, but Ferguson simply refused to tap before the bell, even as his elbow bowed dangerously in the wrong direction.

Oliveira again took Ferguson to the canvas early and controlled the rest of the second round. Oliviera's takedown in the third was a full body slam, and he again controlled the balance of the round.

Canada's Guv'nor claims 3rd straight

Earlier in the night, Canadian featherweight Gavin (Guv'nor) Tucker won his third-straight fight, earning a unanimous decision over Billy Quarantillo in a preliminary bout on the UFC 256 card.

All three judges scored it 30-27 for the 34-year-old from Ship Cove, N.L., who fights out of Halifax. Tucker, who has now won four of his five UFC fights, recorded 106 significant strikes and seven takedowns.

Canadian featherweight Gavin Tucker, left, defeated Billy Quarantillo by unanimous decision to claim his third-straight victory at UFC 256 on Saturday. (@UFC_CA/Twitter)

"Billy's a hell of a fighter and that was a hell of a fight," said Tucker.

"My toolbox's been deep for a while...I got to show a few [tools] tonight." he said.

The two were originally slated to meet in April but the bout was twice delayed by the pandemic.

Tucker (13-1-0) won a $50,000 US performance last time in choking out Justin (The Guitar Hero) Jaynes in August.

The taller Quarantillo got Tucker's attention with a right to the head and body kick in the first minute. Tucker tripped Quarantillo from a clinch at the fence but the American got right back up. Quarantillo kept coming forward but Tucker scored with elbows and knees in a close first round.

Tucker found his range with strikes early in the second round, connecting to the body. He took Quarantillo down later in the round, gaining side control before taking his back, but Quarantillo escaped. Quarantillo finished the round strongly, connecting with strikes.

Tucker took Quarantillo down early in the third round, controlling him on the ground. Quarantillo was cut midway through the round, possibly from a clash of heads, with Tucker continuing to take him down.

The 32-year-old Quarantillo (15-3-0) had won eight straight including three in the UFC He knocked out Canadian Kyle (The Monster) Nelson last time out in September.

With files from the Canadian Press

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