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Brandon Moreno of Mexico and Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil react after their flyweight championship bout during the UFC 256 event at UFC APEX on December 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Fight Coverage

Coach Conversation | UFC 283: Figueiredo vs Moreno 4

Elite MMA Coaches Break Down Saturday's Flyweight Co-Main Event

Ahead of every championship fight, UFC staff writer E. Spencer Kyte will sit down with some of the sharpest coaching minds in the sport to break down the action and provide UFC fans with insights into each championship pairing from the men that spend their days getting these elite athletes prepared to compete on the biggest stage in the sport.

For UFC 283, Kyte called upon independent striking coach Sean Madden and Eliot Marshall, co-owner and head instructor at Easton Training Center in Denver, Colorado to provide their thoughts on four points heading into the fourth flyweight championship clash between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno.

Best Trait of Each Fighter

Figueiredo vs Moreno Co-Main Event Preview | UFC 283
Figueiredo vs Moreno Co-Main Event Preview | UFC 283

Kyte: At a time in the sport where everyone is pretty solid everywhere, generally speaking, what is the one thing that each of these competitors do better than anyone else?

Madden: I think from a technical perspective, the best trait of Moreno is that he has the ability to do it everywhere. He is a fantastic striker and his grappling and wrestling has improved drastically the last couple years. He was already a pretty good grappler, but we’ve seen major improvements in those things the last couple years.

He’s high-level in every area — he’s a very well rounded fighter — and that’s a championship-caliber fighter.

For “Figgy,” he’s got tremendous power and it doesn’t take a lot from him to do damage to anyone. It’s the power he carries and the potential to end the fight at any time if he connects cleanly.

RELATED: Deiveson Figueiredo Eyes Spectacular Finale

Marshall: The best trait of Deiveson Figueiredo is his power. For such a small weight class, you don’t see a lot of power normally, and he has really good power. Moreno, he’s very durable — he’s a survivor. Those are my two traits.

Path to Victory for Each Fighter

Kyte: Everyone would love a 10-second knockout or a quick submission, but that’s not often how these things go, especially not at the championship level. Instead, it’s usually the competitor that has crafted the better game plan and did the better job of executing things inside the Octagon that comes away with their hand raised and the gold around their waist.

So, how does either man get it done on Saturday night?

Marshall: Brandon Moreno scrambles, makes it a little chaotic, and not getting hit, which is a hard thing when you’re dealing with somebody with so much power, like Figueiredo.

Being dynamic is what I would say, rather than creating scrambles; being dynamic. Always keep Figueiredo guessing — he’s not quite sure what’s coming. Those are the keys to victory for Moreno.

Moreno vs Figueiredo Rivalry Recap

The key to victory for Figueiredo is to cut Moreno off. If he can really trap Moreno — Erik Nicksick likes to talk about it a lot. He says, ‘Trap him in the corner post.’ If he can trap him and cut him off with his footwork, Moreno is gonna have a hard time because he’s gonna be trying to be on his bike a little bit and trying to create that dynamic movement, and he’s not going to be able to, and that is mentally fatiguing.

It’s both of them applying pressure, but they look different and it’s who can do that the best.

Madden: When I think about what Figueiredo needs to do to win this fight — I think there are a couple factors that play into this, but I think he needs to slow Brandon down a little bit, and he needs to find that big shot. We’ve seen him be successful with the low kicks in the past fights, and I would love to see him get back on the low kicks early, invest in them through five rounds.

RELATED: Deiveson Figueiredo UFC 283 Interview Brandon Moreno UFC 283 Interview

I also think he needs to punch with Brandon, not necessarily try to lead or follow him. I think he needs to go second with Brandon, rather than going first and third. We saw in the last fight at the end of the third round, Brandon jabbed and Figueiredo timed an overhand at the same time, and not only did he connect, but he did damage and dropped Brandon with it.

The timing on that big punch is going to be what’s really important in this fight. If he hurts him, we’ll see if he can jump on top and do more damage or look for a choke, depending on where they are in the round.

And for Moreno, he’s so well-rounded, his conditioning is fantastic — he’s gotta work. If I were cornering Moreno, we know Figueiredo keeps a little bit of a slower pace — I think the weight cut is a factor in that — and Moreno doesn’t have to worry about getting tired. We’ve seen him go five rounds multiple times and know he can carry that pace, so he’s gotta work and make Figueiredo work.

I think he needs to mix in the wrestling, mix in the body lock that he was successful with in the last couple fights. Even if he doesn’t keep him down, he’s going to keep him guessing, keep him working, keep him reacting with the takedowns. And in the back-half of the fight, let’s separate and make sure we’re pulling ahead in this fight.

X Factor

Kyte: If there were one thing that was going to significantly impact how this fight plays out — that swings it in one direction or the other — what would it be?

Madden: For Figueiredo, I think it’s the location of the fight this time. These fights in Brazil are a different animal, and when you’re fighting for a belt in front of your home crowd… that’s not to say I don’t think Brandon is going to feed off that energy as well, and I don’t see it shaking him, but it’s going to give Deiveson a little more motivation.

How To Watch UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill In Your Country

And we may see him be more aggressive too — more willing to push the pace because he knows the crowd is behind him too.

For Moreno, I think it’s that he had a fight with Kai (Kara-France) in the meantime. Not only did he have a fight, he looked really f****** good in that fight. He showed he’s continuing to elevate his game and make improvements, he made fantastic reads, in that fight; Kai is no easy fight by any means and he looked f****** fantastic in that fight.

Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno 1-3 Recap | UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Brandon Moreno 1-3 Recap | UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill

Marshall: I think it’s always power. It’s the power, right? I know Moreno stopped Kai, but that was with a body kick — that’s not power, it’s placement. Yeah, I think it’s Figueiredo’s power.

The other thing we’re not talking about is that Figueiredo has had some weight cutting struggles in the past. If you mess it up a little bit, it can definitely affect your performance, so that is always interesting with Figueiredo, as well.

One Coaching Curiosity

Kyte: Coaches see the sport differently and look at the sport differently than anyone else, picking up on different things and paying attention to movements, habits, or intangible pieces that others might not notice, but that could have a significant impact on the action inside the Octagon.

Every matchup offers its own unique collection of elements that might pique a coach’s interest and get them paying a little closer attention to once the fight gets underway.

So what is that one thing in this matchup?

Madden: It’s the coaching situation for Brandon; this change. How are you going to respond and listen to a coach on short notice? That will be really interesting to see and something that I will definitely be paying attention to in this fight.

Marshall: Moreno has changed camps a lot, so I think he’s used to that; I don’t think that’s a massive deal for him. He has his little crew, but who his coach has been has never really been the same, so who knows?

These guys know each other — this is the fourth time they’re doing this — so there won’t be any surprises. They’ve all been great fights, and this is just a fan win. It’s going to be an exciting fight.


UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill took place live from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on January 21, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass