Deiveson Figueiredo does not like the idea of an interim Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight title.
The current reigning champion of the division most recently reclaimed his crown in yet another epic encounter with Brandon Moreno for what was their third time colliding. The January 2022 meeting saw Figueiredo earn a unanimous decision (watch highlights), but unfortunately, he didn’t come out unscathed as he’s dealt with lingering hand injuries. Because of that, “Deus de Garra” has expressed his interest in returning in either October or November.
As we near the end of April, the champion could be faced with having to see an interim titleholder come into play — something he isn’t too fond of.
“It would be pretty messed [up] on the UFC’s part [to create an interim belt],” Figueiredo told AG Fight (h/t Bloody Elbow). “I can’t fight for the belt and then they create another one? That way I’ll know they really don’t want me as the champion. I’ll have to rip off the head of whoever has that interim belt. It took them over four months to create an interim title for Ngannou. I’ve just completed two months with mine. There’s no way they’ll make an interim belt. I’m not opposed to fighting, but I have to be 100 percent and the money has to be good. I need to value myself. I do what they like, I give them a show and I’ll charge that value as an athlete who sells fights.”
The common conception regarding the next Flyweight title bout is to have Figueiredo and Moreno run things back once more for a fourth consecutive battle. Instead, the champion likes the idea of surging contender, Kai Kara-France receiving the opportunity. Either way, he’ll require the bout to come near the end of the year.
“I’m injured,” Figueiredo said. “It’s an injury that didn’t let me train properly. I can barely make a fist. I’m going through physical therapy to deal with that, it’s a tear in the cartilage. My finger is crooked. My other hand is also injured. I can’t punch pads properly. These are fighting injuries and they want me to fight again so soon? I’m not a machine. I’m 34 and I need to take care of my body. We can book a fight for October or November. I want to be 100 percent for a fight.”
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