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Midnight Mania! Deiveson Figueiredo not medically cleared to compete vs. Manel Kape at UFC 290, fight is off

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UFC 283: Figueiredo v Moreno IV Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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The Flyweight division simply cannot have nice things.

Earlier this month, an absolute banger of an 125-pound match up was announced, pitting former UFC champion Deiveson Figueiredo vs. former RIZIN kingpin Manel Kape at UFC 290 in July. Figueiredo was finally moving forward from his Brandon Moreno quadrilogy, and Kape was fighting for a fourth straight win and potential title shot.

No longer. Speaking with MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca, Kape explained that his eye is yet to recover from the fourth Moreno fight. As a result, he’s not medically cleared to compete at UFC 290.

“I’m still injured,” Figueiredo explained (via MMAFighting). “I asked for a fight, told my manager I wanted to fight already, but when he gave me the fight and I talked to my physical therapist and my ophthalmologist, [they said] my eyesight is still not 100 percent. There are days I see things normal, but there are days it’s not OK, especially the days after I train, so they decided I had to go the full six-month [medical suspension] the ophthalmologist gave me [after UFC 283].”

In similar cases, match ups have simply been pushed back a month or two until all the pieces fit properly. That could still be the case opposite Kape, but Figueiredo doesn’t sound terribly interested in fighting “Star Boy” at the moment. Instead, he’d prefer to fight a more highly ranked Flyweight in his return to action.

“I admit I didn’t understand it,” Figueiredo said. “The UFC threw me the No. 9 ranked flyweight, and I don’t understand it, given I’m the No. 1. I hope to fight one of the top-5 [flyweights]. I’m in no hurry to recover from my injury. I talked to my manager and asked him to ask the UFC to give me someone in the top 5 and let everybody else fight.”

He continued, “Kai Kara-France is someone I want to fight but unfortunately he has a fight booked now. And there’s also the guy that knocked out Matheus Nicolau [Brandon Royval], another great guy to fight me. I hope the UFC gives me one of those guys to fight me. I think I deserve it. I’m not asking for a title shot, I’m asking for someone in the top 5.”

It remains to be seen if Kape is kept on the UFC 290 card opposite a new opponent, or if UFC decides to stick with the original bout despite Figueiredo’s preferences.


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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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