An upcoming interim flyweight title fight between Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France may end up pushing current 125-pound champion Deiveson Figueiredo out of the division for good.
Figueiredo, who recaptured the undisputed UFC flyweight title in a trilogy fight with Moreno at UFC 270 this past January, has been dealing with lingering hand injuries ever since. It has prevented the champion from signing on for his next title defense and UFC doesn’t want to wait any longer, which is why they booked an interim flyweight title fight for UFC 277 this coming July.
While Figueiredo had an idea that the promotion could end up going this route he still doesn’t agree with it. His hand injury has limited his availability for the most of 2022, but he just fought this past January. It doesn’t seem like UFC is giving the champion enough time to recover and were pretty quick to pull the trigger on the interim belt.
In fact, Figueiredo is so upset with the promotion’s decision to book an interim title fight that he’s willing to step away from the flyweight division and take his talents to bantamweight.
“I was upset, because I didn’t expect this from the UFC,” said Figueiredo in a recent interview with AgFight. “A few months ago I did the last fight and the event already puts an interim belt? I’m in disbelief. I can prove it because I didn’t accept the fight because of the injury and I would still question [the fight] for not being so close. I’ve always provided great shows for the event and I feel undervalued for this interim belt.
“I am very disappointed. I confess to you that I seriously think about leaving the category. Who saved this division was me, Henry Cejudo, and with this one from the UFC, I’m honestly about to make decisions. I hope I don’t take them, but if I do, I’ll leave the division and go up to [135 pounds].”
Figueiredo, 34, has always had a difficult time cutting down to flyweight so maybe a move to bantamweight would be a good idea. But to get pushed out of the division he helped save seems pretty unfair at this time. It’s more likely that Figueiredo fights the winner of Moreno vs. Kara-France sometime later this year, but the relationship between Figgy and UFC looks like it has already taken a major hit.
What say you, fight fans? Should Figueiredo be upset over an interim title fight? Should he leave the division in protest?