Tasked with rematching Brandon Moreno on Saturday night in Glendale, Arizona — reigning UFC flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo already has sights planted on a potential leap to the promotion’s bantamweight ranks in search of a second title under the UFC’s banner.
Co-headlining UFC 263 this weekend at the Gila River Arena, Para finisher, Figueiredo meets with the #1 ranked flyweight challenger, Moreno in a re-run of their December clash, which ended in a majority draw after the former laned an unintentional groin strike in the third round, resulting in a point deduction.
Battling with Baja California native, Moreno once more this weekend in the Copper State, Figueiredo has upped the anty in recent weeks in regards to his rivalry with Moreno, with both parties laying out their plans for a quickfire finish when they meet on Saturday, off the back of a five round Fight of the Year contender last December.
With Moreno still standing in front of him, Figueiredo didn’t mince his words when he explained how he hopes to finally make the leap to the bantamweight division in the future, in pursuit of a second Octagon title.
“I’m always looking for the big fights and I want the boss to listen to this one,” Figueiredo said at yesterday evening’s pre-fight press conference. “‘Cause I want him to give me the chance to move up (to bantamweight). ‘Cause I want to get that belt (as well).“
Figueiredo, who only assumed the undisputed flyweight throne last July in a standout title-winning performance over multiple-time title challenger, Joseph Benavidez has already lodged one successful defence via a first round guillotine over Alex Perez in November, and retained his title in his draw against Moreno the following month.
The 33-year-old had previously missed the flyweight weight limit ahead of his UFC Fight Night Norfolk vacant title clash against the above-mentioned, Benavidez in February of last year, tipping the scales at 127.5lbs on route to a brutal second round knockout win. Despite the victory, Figueiredo was ineligible to lift the championship due to his botched weight-cut.
Whilst Figueiredo has clear plans to make a run toward the bantamweight championship, the top of the division is currently log-jammed, with current titleholder, Aljamain Sterling recovering from a surgical procedure on his neck ahead of an immediate title rematch against Petr Yan.
Following his victory over former champion, Cody Garbrandt month, New England Cartel standout, Rob Font made his case for an upcoming title shot. And the #2 ranked, Cory Sandhagen is set to return in tandem with former two-time division best, T.J. Dillashaw in a potential title-eliminator in July.