One of the best fights of 2020 came from one of the year’s last events. After a months long run of constant UFC fight cards, the promotion found itself struggling hard to put together a star studded PPV event to end the year. Planned title fights between Kamaru Usman & Gilbert Burns, Amanda Nunes & Megan Anderson, and Petr Yan & Aljamain Sterling all fell by the wayside due to injuries and travel restrictions.
In their place, and on just three week’s notice, the UFC booked a flyweight title fight between recently crowned champion Deiveson Figueiredo and top contender Brandon Moreno. Despite little time to prepare, both men showed up on December 12th primed and ready to deliver five rounds of high-octane battle.
Moreno kept pace beautifully with a more active than ever version of ‘Deus da Guerra’, scoring multiple takedowns across the bout alongside his rangy striking arsenal that had some even feeling he might have taken the decision. When the scroes were read, however, judges revealed a majority draw, largely due to a point deduction for Figueiredo that tipped scores from 48-47 to even.
After the decision, calls for a rematch were swift. Not just from fans, but from the UFC and even the fighters themselves.
“I want this rematch so it leaves no doubt,” Deiveson Figueiredo told MMA Fighting days after the event. “I want to be well and show my work. That guy that fought Moreno, that wasn’t me. He can be sure of that. I’ll train hard for him now and it will be a completely different fight.”
As for when he’ll get his wish? In a recent Q&A hosted by ESPN+, UFC president Dana White gave a straightforward timeline for when he expects to have the fight booked.
“April or May” White told fans on Tuesday, January 5th (transcript via MMA Fighting).
That timeline seems to match up with Moreno as well, who told the outlet that he was looking to be ready to run it back with the champ in April—once he’d had some time to recuperate and game plan for the fight.
Currently the UFC schedule has only been laid out through the end of March, with 11 events already planned for the first three months of 2021. However, if the UFC plans to pack the calendar again this year – like they did in 2020 – there should be plenty of options available as the promotion looks to get its spring and summer bookings together.