It took him two attempts and two knockout wins, but Deiveson Figueiredo finally has the UFC flyweight title wrapped around his waist. A division that has suffered from regular existential crises now seems to have a new dominant champion that will be tough to take out. In fact, the biggest threat in the 125 pound division right now is the possibility of Figueiredo getting bored and demanding to move up to bantamweight.
But for now “Figgy” is staying at flyweight to defend against former bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt at UFC 255 on November 21st. “No Love” is riding his resume at 135 right into a flyweight title fight in his first bout at that weight. It was a fight that Deiveson initially turned down, but fortunately the UFC was willing to pony up some extra Brazilian real to placate their new champ. That doesn’t mean Deiveson is happy with how Garbrandt is coming in.
“I didn’t think it was right for [Cody] to cut the line, but the UFC calls the shots,” Figueiredo told AG Fight. “We work for them and we have to accept whoever they want us to fight so we can put on a show for the fans. There was a negotiation between them and my manager, Wallid Ismail. He talked to the UFC so I could have a bigger purse against Garbrandt. We got a proper figure. Now I’m training hard to show you should not cut the line to get to the belt at flyweight.”
As far as “Deus Da Guerra” is concerned, the blueprint has already been revealed and he knows exactly what he’ll focus on in their fight.
“His chin, his head. Those are fragile spots. I’ve seen him take shots and get rocked. Those are two weak spots to exploit. If he comes at me, you better believe there’ll be a bonus coming. It’s going to be an insane fight. I don’t walk back. I feel more well-rounded. He has boxing and wrestling. I have my boxing, my marajoara fighting and jiu-jitsu to submit him if he makes a mistake.”
And don’t think Figueiredo has taken his eyes off the bantamweight belt, currently held by Petr Yan.
“I really want to be able to go up to get the belt,” he said. “I think that beating [Garbrandt], doing another three, four flyweight fights, we will ask for a fight up a weightclass. A super fight. I want to go up, but without abandoning my division. I want to stay in it, defend my title and be a dominant champion in the flyweight division.”
It’s nice to hear Figueiredo declare his desire to mop up his own division first before turning to bantamweight. While UFC president Dana White has declared the 125ers are here to stay, it certainly wouldn’t help if its champions keep abandoning the weightclass for bigger fights.