For the first time in 2023, MMA’s top promotion, the UFC, hits pay-per-view this weekend. Saturday night, Dana White’s organization heads to the sport’s birthplace of Rio de Janeiro for UFC 283 from Jeunesse Arena. The show (the main card at 10 pm ET/ 7 pm PT on ESPN+ PPV) will be the UFC’s first visit to Brazil since March 14, 2020, in Brasilia.
That evening, UFC Fight Night: Lee vs. Olivera went ahead as scheduled despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had just been declared as such by the World Health Organization (WHO) the previous Wednesday. Due to safeguards being put in place to curb the spread of the virus, the card was held without spectators in attendance at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium.
UFC 283 will be the first event from the promotion in Brazil with fans in attendance since Nov. 16, 2019, when 10,344 spectators packed the Ginasio do Ibiarpuera to watch Jan Blachowicz defeat Jacare Souza by a split decision in the main event. Now, the event almost three years in the making happens this weekend.
Championship Doubleheader Begins with UFC 283 Co-Main Event
The UFC’s first show back in Brazil in over 34 months is highlighted by two championship fights at the top of the card, beginning with the battle for the UFC Flyweight Championship between incumbent titleholder Deiveson Figueiredo (21-2-1 MMA, 10-2-1 UFC) and No. 1 contender (and interim champion) Brandon Moreno (20-6-2 MMA, 8-6-2 UFC) in a unification battle. As with all UFC title fights, the UFC 283 co-main event will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.
This is the fourth time that Figueiredo and Moreno have fought one another under the UFC banner. All of the previous three have been for the flyweight crown.
All-Time Series Deadlocked Going Into UFC 283 Co-Main Event
Heading into Saturday night’s encounter, the series between Figueiredo and Moreno sits at 1-1-1. Back in December 2020 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, the two fighters clashed for their first head-to-head encounter in the UFC 256 main event. After 25 minutes of action, the judges’ scorecards produced a majority draw, resulting in Figueiredo retaining the title due to the champion’s advantage.
In round three of that fight, Figueiredo saw a point taken away from him on the scorecards amid a groin strike.
Deiveson Figueiredo almost didn’t report for duty at the UFC Apex that late fall night in 2020. Hours before the card, he was admitted to the hospital twice due to stomach issues.
A rematch was scheduled for UFC 263 the following spring. Unlike the previous contest, there’d be no need for the judges since Moreno locked in a third-round submission (rear-naked choke) to become the new champion at 125 lbs.
Last year at this time, a trilogy fight was held during UFC 270, where Figueiredo won the title back (unanimous decision.) Saturday’s bout marks the first time that a head-to-head series has ever gotten to a fourth fight in UFC history, so we’re truly in for a treat this weekend in the UFC 283 co-main event.
UFC 283 Co-Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the UFC 283 co-main event on Saturday night, challenger Brandon Moreno stands as the taller man at 5-foot-7, compared to the 5-foot-5 frame of champion Deiveson Figueiredo. Moreno owns a two-inch reach advantage (70 inches to 68 inches) over Figueiredo, with the two contenders’ level in leg reach (38 inches apiece.)
As it stands currently, the oddsmakers have this one as a pick-’em. Both Figueiredo and Moreno have even odds (-113.) If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Don’t Expect a Fifth Figueiredo/ Moreno Showdown After UFC 283 Co-Main Event
Brandon Moreno enters this championship fight having gone 3-1-1 in his last five fights. Most recently, he stopped Kai Kara-France (24-10 MMA, 7-3 UFC) with a third-round knockout (liver kick followed by ground and pound strikes) during UFC 277 on July 30 to take the interim championship.
During his Wednesday media availability, Moreno said that the UFC 283 co-main event will be the end of his rivalry with Figueiredo, one way or another.
“For sure, I know I’m going to fight on Saturday, 100 percent,” Moreno began. “I don’t care. My goal: I’m talking about history and importance. I want to finish this with Figueiredo on Saturday and then start to watch Pantoja, Nicolau, Manel Kape, and all the other names.”
Can Moreno become the permanent champion? Watch the UFC 283 co-main event and find out.
Deiveson Figueiredo Eager to Move On From Brandon Moreno
In the other corner, Deiveson Figueiredo has posted a 3-1-1 record of his own in his last five bouts. Last time out, he bested Moreno by unanimous decision on Jan. 22, 2022, to make the series level at 1-1-1 and necessitate this weekend’s fight.
Much like his adversary, Figueiredo is ready to push forward in his MMA career after the UFC 283 co-main event. A recent interview with Shakiel Mahjouri of CBS Sports addressed the saga directly.
“He says that he gets a little upset having to fight over and over and over again,” Figueiredo’s translator said. “But he enjoys it, and he believes that the UFC keeps doing it because they’re making money off of it. It’s good for the UFC.”
The feeling is mutual. This is the fourth time in slightly over three years that Moreno and Figueiredo will fight one another. Whether or not the final chapter of the rivalry delivers remains to be seen.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, the UFC 283 co-main event is a toss-up. Both Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno own black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. We could be looking at a ground war.
Watch For Deiveson Figueiredo’s Submissions
One aspect of the champion’s fight game that’s shown itself on video is his ability to land submissions. His 2019 win against Tim Elliott is proof of that. During the first round of a scheduled three, the two men threw feints at one another to start the fight, with Figueiredo landing a punch to the face to wobble Elliot about 30 seconds in.
Elliott tried to land a spinning sidekick before going into the clinch with Figueiredo, who was the more effective fighter, landing 20 quick punches before getting out of it. Later on in the round, Figueiredo landed a right-handed punch to get out of another clinch, with Elliott keeping him honest by scoring with leg kicks.
With under two minutes to go in the round, Elliott landed a takedown, but he left his neck open, enabling Figueiredo to switch positions and secure a guillotine choke under Elliot’s chin, forcing the latter to tap out. If Figueiredo can find an opening, look for him to exploit it and try to lock in a submission.
Brandon Moreno Can Punch His Way to Victory
In the other corner, Brandon Moreno has one-punch power, something that was on full display in July against Kai Kara-France. In the third round of an advertised five, Moreno began by throwing feints but soon found himself on the receiving end of a Kara France takedown thanks to a sweep.
He then absorbed several ground and pound shots and had a cut above his eye. For a while, it looked as though Kara-France had the fight in the bag, but Moreno returned fire later in the round with a two-punch combination and an uppercut.
With less than a minute remaining in the period, Moreno landed a vicious spinning back fist to stun Kara-France. Smelling blood in the water, he landed a perfectly connected kick to Kara-France’s liver to fold him like a lawn chair in a tornado. A flurry of ground and pound shots ended the fight.
If Moreno’s kicks are on the money, he’ll be the new champion.
There isn’t much more left to say to sell you on the UFC 283 co-main event. This is rarified air and could be the biggest fight in UFC history. Don’t miss it.
Prediction: Brandon Moreno by Unanimous Decision.
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