Taking co-main event status on Saturday at UFC 263 — flyweight titleholder, Deiveson Figueiredo has expressed his hope to secure a trilogy matchup against Brandon Moreno following his third round rear-naked choke title loss to the Tijuana native, noting how he had suffered another difficult weight-cut ahead of the championship rematch.
Matching with fan favourite, Moreno in a re-run of their December UFC 256 Fight of the Year contender, Figueiredo suffered a knockdown in the opening round off the back of a stiff jab from the razor-sharp, Moreno, dropping the first and second frame quite comfortably despite some decent success in the many scrambles.
Eventually giving up his back against the fence as Moreno rode a bit too high, the Mexican adjusted and locked up a body triangle. And after hand fighting for some considerable time, eventually slipped his forearm beneath the neck of Figueiredo and forced the tap. With the submission win, Moreno became the first Mexican-born champion in the history of the UFC.
Reflecting on the loss to Moreno, Para native, Figueiredo, who had scored two successful title defences prior to the loss, revealed he had suffered a difficult weight cut ahead of the tie — resulting in a buzzer-beating trip to the official scales on Friday afternoon before the fight the following night.
“It really was the weight cut,” Figueiredo said during a post-fight interview with Combate reporter, Evy Rodrigues. “I didn’t have a healthy weight cut, it was really hard to beat the weight. I left the hotel (to go to the Gila River Arena) feeling very bad. I knew it wasn’t my day, but I gave it into God’s hands, and going to the Octagon I said, ‘Lord, your will be done.’ I got in there, I didn’t really fight like I am and I really want to immediately ask for a rematch with Dana (White), and I hope I get it because I won (majority draw) the first fight, and even so they took a point from me and they decided to tie for the second fight. And now I want the trilogy. He (Brandon Moreno) goy my belt, the first one I won and we’re going to fight this third fight now to take the fight off.“
Figueiredo’s prior successful title defence against Alex Perez last November to go with his retention against Moreno back in December could bode well for him in his bid to secure an immediate title rematch trilogy tie with the newly-minted champion. Following the loss, Figueiredo hoisted Moreno above his head and paraded him around the Octagon as the latter was strapped with the undisputed flyweight championship.