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UFC 256 Main Card Picks: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno Predictions, Preview, Betting Odds, DraftKings MMA DFS Picks

Timothy Finnegan breaks down UFC 256, providing a prediction along with bets to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook and DraftKings fantasy MMA picks.

UFC 255: Figueiredo v Perez Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Just three weeks after successfully defending his flyweight title at UFC 255, Deiveson Figueiredo is back in action, headlining Saturday’s UFC 256 main event in a flyweight title fight against Brandon Moreno. Moreno is also on a very fast turnaround, as he fought on the UFC 255 card three weeks ago as well. Other notable names on Saturday’s UFC 256 card include former champions Junior Dos Santos and Tony Ferguson, along with Brazilian jiu-jitsu aces Mackenzie Dern and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

DraftKings is hosting a big UFC 256 fantasy MMA tournament that pays out $600K in guaranteed prizes, including $150K to first place. The fantasy MMA contest locks at 7:30 p.m. ET. Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: MMA $600K 256 Special [$150K to 1st].

DraftKings Sportsbook will also be featuring UFC bets that can be placed throughout the night for the duration of UFC 256. Place your UFC bets at the DraftKings Sportsbook UFC page and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Below, we will break down UFC 256 and examine some of the UFC betting offerings for the event by DraftKings Sportsbook. In addition, we will take a look at the DraftKings UFC 256 fantasy MMA slate and make some picks.

Notable DraftKings Sportsbook betting odds


Favorite Deiveson Figueiredo (-335) vs. underdog Brandon Moreno (+250)

Total Rounds

To Go the Distance

For the full list of available UFC bets, download the DraftKings Sportsbook app or check out the DraftKings Sportsbook UFC page.

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Fantasy MMA Scoring Criteria


  • A significant strike is worth 0.5 DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP). A significant strike is defined as any distance strike or clinch/ground strike that is considered a “power strike” by official scorers.
  • Advances on the ground are worth 3.0 DKFP. Advances include to half guard, to side control, to mount and to back control.
  • A takedown is worth 5.0 DKFP.
  • A reversal or sweep is worth 5.0 DKFP.
  • A knockdown is worth 10.0 DKFP. A knockdown is awarded to a fighter who knocks his/her opponent down due to debilitation for what the official scorers consider an appreciable amount of time.

Fight Conclusion Bonuses

DraftKings fantasy points (DKFP) are awarded based on how quickly a fighter is able to finish the fight.

  • 1st round win: 90 DKFP
  • 2nd round win: 70 DKFP
  • 3rd round win: 45 DKFP
  • 4th round win: 40 DKFP
  • 5th round win: 40 DKFP
  • Decision win: 30 DKFP

UFC 256 Triple Winnings

New DraftKings Sportsbook users can get Triple Winnings on UFC 256! See the DraftKings Sportsbook Promotions page for more info and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Main Event: Deiveson Figueiredo ($9,000) vs. Brandon Moreno ($7,200)

Figueiredo is an explosive fight finisher, which is especially impressive given the standards of the flyweight division, which on average sees more fights go to decision due to smaller frames and less striking power. Figueiredo has finished 70% of his UFC fights and is tied for the all-time lead in finishes in the history of the flyweight division. Because Figueiredo finishes a lot of his fights, he has one of the shortest average fight times in the flyweight division, averaging just under nine minutes per fight, which puts his average fight time under two rounds, below the total rounds of 2.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Figueiredo is coming off a quick finish of Alex Perez via guillotine choke three weeks ago in a title defense, which was Figueiredo’s fourth straight finish. Three of those finishes have been first-round submissions, which Figueiredo actively hunts. Figueiredo has attacked armbars, chokes and leglocks in scrambles in recent fights, most recently attacking a leglock against Alex Perez after Perez was attempting a single-leg takedown, which created another scramble that led to Figueiredo sinking in the fight-finishing guillotine choke. Because Figueiredo actively hunts submissions rather than waiting for opportunities, Figueiredo has posted big submission statistics, leading the flyweight division in submission average per 15 minutes (3.02) and total submission attempts (18). Figueiredo is confident in his guard, which allows him to aggressively attack submissions because he does not fear being on his back.

Figueiredo also showcases powerful striking, which is a big threat for him both in the stand up game and on the ground. On the feet, Figueiredo leads all flyweights in total knockdowns (8) and ranks second best in the division by knockdowns per 15 minutes (1.34). Figueiredo also displays ferocious ground-and-pound, which is part of the reason he won via submission over Joseph Benavidez two fights ago. Figueiredo was destroying Benavidez’s face with vicious elbows from the top position, which forced Benavidez to give up his back and ultimately led to a rear-naked choke finish. Figueiredo leading the division in submission attempts and knockdowns paints a good picture for why he so strong at finishing fights.

Figueiredo is a stud and is the rightful favorite in this fight, but he does have flaws that could potentially be exposed by the right opponent. On the feet, Figueiredo keeps his hands low, which makes him hittable at times. Figueiredo kept his hands remarkably low for portions of his most recent fight against Alex Perez, which could theoretically make him more susceptible to a fight-changing bomb if he mismanages the distance or gets cracked with a strike he doesn’t see coming. However, Figueiredo has a strong chin and eats the punches he absorbs. Figueiredo also uses movement and distance to avoid having opponent strikes land with full power, which gives him margin for error with his hand placement.

Figueiredo has been susceptible to takedowns in his career, although this has not been an issue for him lately. Figueiredo has stopped only 63% of opponent takedown attempts in his UFC career, and in his only career loss, he was taken down three times and controlled for about seven of the 15 total minutes, which resulted in him losing a decision on points to Jussier Formiga. Figueiredo was also taken down seven times and controlled for about half the fight in a narrow split decision win over Jarred Brooks in 2017. Despite that, Figueiredo has not been taken down in any of his three most recent title fights and did a good job defending against a deep single-leg takedown against Alex Perez in his most recent fight.

If Figueiredo is going to lose the belt, it will most likely be against an opponent who can either take advantage of Figueiredo’s exposed chin with a big power shot or put together chain wrestling and win a fight with takedowns and control time. Brandon Moreno does not fit either of these descriptions very well. Moreno has recorded only two total knockdowns in nine UFC fights and has not recorded any knockdowns in his recent three-fight win streak — he won via TKO over Brandon Royval at UFC 255 after Royval dislocated his shoulder and was unable to defend himself, which is Moreno’s only career UFC finish due to strikes. Moreno is not particularly accurate with his striking either, landing just 35% of his significant strikes, with that rate sitting at 36% over his recent three-fight win streak. Moreno also does not have a big offensive wrestling game, averaging under two takedowns per 15 minutes.

However, Moreno does have some characteristics working for him in this fight. Moreno is longer and has a two-inch advantage in both reach and height. Moreno is also very difficult to finish and has plus striking defense. Moreno ranks in the top 10 in the division in significant strike defense and has not been finished yet in his professional career, with all five of his career losses coming by decision. If Moreno can withstand an early onslaught by Figueiredo, he could be in position to take over in the later rounds if Figueiredo begins to tire. Figueiredo has one of the shortest average fight times and his cardio has been questioned in the past. Moreno’s best method to win is to drag this fight into the later rounds and tire Figueiredo out by playing a quality defensive game in the early rounds and opening up once Figueiredo starts to tire.

Ultimately, I don’t see Moreno fitting the type of style that would give Figueiredo the most trouble, and I expect Figueiredo to win. Figueiredo is the more powerful and more accurate striker. Figueiredo is the better grappler who is constantly hunting submissions in scrambles and is capable of attacking the neck, arms and legs. Figueiredo has more explosive skills in both striking and grappling, which gives him multiple ways of finishing the fight. Figueiredo has more ways to win and I think it is unlikely he would lose this fight due to the matchup — it’s just a matter of predicting the winning method. Given Figueiredo’s elite finishing skills, considering Figueiredo To Win By Any Knockout, Submission or DQ (-159) or Figueiredo to Win & Under 2.5 Rounds (+105) could be ways to get the price tag down from the moneyline of -335.

Place your UFC bets at the DraftKings Sportsbook UFC page and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Mid-tier: Billy Quarantillo ($8,500; -155 Moneyline)

Quarantillo enters this fight against Gavin Tucker ($7,700) priced towards the middle of the pack on the UFC 256 fantasy MMA slate. Looking at the stat sheet, Quarantillo has some highly appealing advantages on paper. Quarantillo is averaging close to eight significant strikes landed per minute, the highest striking volume on the slate. Quarantillo has been the far more accurate striker, landing at a 71% clip, compared to just 39% for Tucker. Quarantillo has also landed roughly double the amount of significant strikes he has absorbed, while Tucker has absorbed slightly more significant strikes than he has landed.

Tucker has weak takedown defense statistics, stopping just 40% of opponent takedown attempts, which could give Quarantillo a soft matchup for takedowns. Quarantillo also has both a four-inch reach and four-inch height advantage over Tucker on the feet, which could help him land strikes from range and manage the distance effectively. Quarantillo has the highest scoring average on this slate at over 100 DKFP per fight and the metrics point towards Quarantillo being an appealing play at this price tag.

Biggest DraftKings Sportsbook Favorite: Ciryl Gane ($9,200) vs. Junior Dos Santos ($7,000)

This fight has the makings of a squash match designed by the promoters to put over the rising prospect against a former champion and recognizable name. Gane is one of the best looking prospects the heavyweight division has seen in years and has excellent striking metrics, landing more than five significant strikes per minute while absorbing just two significant strikes per minute.

Dos Santos is a big name who was once the cream of the crop of the heavyweight division, but those days are long gone. Dos Santos left a little bit of his soul in the cage in beatings against Cain Velasquez and the fight wear has finally taken its toll, as Dos Santos has lost by KO/TKO in three straight fights. Dos Santos’ punching power and technique are still to be respected, but he has slowed down considerably and his once granite chin is not nearly as hard anymore. Dos Santos has a puncher’s chance, but he is being fed to Gane to help build a new contender in the heavyweight division. As a result, Gane is -400 to win on DraftKings Sportsbook, which is tied for the largest favorite on the card.

Place your UFC bets at the DraftKings Sportsbook UFC page and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Set your DraftKings fantasy MMA lineups here: MMA $600K 256 Special [$150K to 1st].

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All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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