What has been dubbed the greatest fight in Flyweight history almost didn’t happen at all. Shortly after Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno scrapped to a majority draw at UFC 256 (watch the highlights here), Figueiredo revealed to Joe Rogan that he had spent the night before the fight in the hospital dealing with weight-cut complications
“Last night I had a stomach infection,” Figueiredo said through a translator. “I was in the hospital until 2 a.m., came here to fight with my stomach full of wind, and didn’t know if I would fight well today, and that’s what happened. This fight went the distance, but I really won. Even with a bad stomach, I came here and won, defended what’s mine. I gave my blood with hour and came out with my hands raised.”
Deiveson’s manager Wallid Ismail confirmed the illness was related to his second cut to 125 pounds in 21 days.
“He had constipation during weight cut,” Ismail said. “The fight almost didn’t happen. He only fought so the pay-per-view wouldn’t lose the main event. He didn’t even attend the meeting after the [weigh-ins] because he didn’t have a proper rehydration after the weigh-ins. He made weight so easily on Thursday afternoon.”
It had all seemed so smooth on the outside, too. Figueiredo was once again the first man on the scale at the UFC 256 weigh-ins, same as he was for UFC 255. But this goes to show you that even when fighters are structured and disciplined down to a tee, these weight cuts are not healthy and can cause adverse effects. If “Deus da Guerra” had been just a smidge less sharp than he was last night, it would have cost him his title.
Deiveson Figueiredo getting transported to the hospital after #UFC256 ... the fight almost didn't happen because Figueiredo suffered weight cut complications the night before. Crazy will to still compete for 5 hard rounds. pic.twitter.com/sRcXyjbL3o— MMA mania (@mmamania) December 13, 2020
It was an interesting moment in the commentary booth when Jon Anik and the gang revealed they knew about Figueiredo’s pre-fight hospital visit and didn’t say anything. While fans were kept in the dark until afterward, we can only hope the commission was made aware of the situation. UFC President, Dana White, didn’t confirm or deny that, instead just saying the Flyweight champion, “was obviously medically cleared.”
“He had some ... he didn’t feel good in the middle of the night last night so he went to the hospital,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “After this year, good luck getting me to flinch at anything. But yeah these things happen some times, especially this year. He went in, he got taken care of, you know. Anytime a guy goes to the hospital, you’re in danger. Obviously, we gave him ... ‘Do you want to fight, or do you not want to fight, it’s up to you.’ He was obviously cleared medically, to fight. But he had the option to fight or not fight, and he wanted to fight.”
As for when we might see Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno 2?
“2021,” White said simply. “I don’t know, I mean we gotta give these guys some time off. But you absolutely positively do that rematch. That’s another fun fight for us all to look forward to in 2021.”
Even with White’s potential “next Conor” Cody Garbrandt in the wings waiting?
“Garbrandt will have to wait.”