Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo was expected to make his first title defense against former bantamweight kingpin Cody Garbrandt, but “No Love” was injured and forced to bail on his 125-pound debut.
Fortunately for Figueiredo, the promotion was able to book Alex Perez for the UFC 255 pay-per-view (PPV) main event this weekend at APEX in Las Vegas, though “Daico” is not convinced Garbrandt can make the weight if and when the time comes to fight.
“I hope that fight happens,” Figueiredo told MMA Junkie. “I’m very excited for that fight, but he first needs to prove he can make the weight. Making the weight in this division is very hard, so he needs to prove it. Garbrandt needs to fight somebody at flyweight, but if Dana (White) really thinks I should fight him or (Henry) Cejudo, I’ll be ready to fight with whoever.”
Figueiredo isn’t the only flyweight soured by the impending drop from Garbrandt.
Perez believes “No Love” — who struggled at 135 pounds after losing his bantamweight title — is looking to take the path of least resistance.
“I just think Cody can’t hang with those ’35ers, so he came down to try and fight us smaller guys,” Perez said to ESPN. “I just feel like he didn’t want to put in the work, kinda tried to take a shortcut to a title.”
And if Figueiredo should fall this weekend in “Sin City,” then we could very well be looking at Perez vs. Garbrandt in early 2021.
We’ll have that answer on Saturday night. In the meantime ...