SAO PAULO, Brazil — Deiveson Figueiredo only has one fight inside the Octagon, but lack of depth in the flyweight division makes him turn long-term plans into mid-term dreams.
Figueiredo impressed in his UFC debut in June, stopping Marco Antonio Beltran in Rio de Janeiro to improve to 12-0 in the sport. Matched-up against another unbeaten prospect in Jarred Brooks at UFC Sao Paulo on Oct. 28, Figueiredo allows himself to discuss a future matchup with flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson.
"I got chills thinking about it, man,” Figueiredo told MMA Fighting. "I’ll show what I can do against these guys, and I’ll be in the top five soon. I want a shot at the belt, but I think it’s too soon. There are better fighters in the UFC that I have to fight with, and when I beat them I'll know I’ll be ready for the belt."
It might seem too soon, but with rising prospects like Kyoji Horiguchi getting shots at the 125-pound belt quick in their careers, Figueiredo doesn’t think it’s improbable.
But what would “Deus da Guerra” do to stop someone who looks unstoppable?
"I see flaws in him, absolutely,” he said of “Mighty Mouse". "I’m like, 'How do they let Demetrious Johnson do this? To steamroll them?’ It doesn’t matter what you try or do, I will use my jiu-jitsu against you. If we stand, I’ll find you. When my hands find him, he’s not made of steel. I’m sure he will feel it, and he might go down."
"Ray Borg doesn’t have jiu-jitsu. He’s explosive, but he doesn’t have jiu-jitsu,” he continued. "Demetrious Johnson fought Wilson Reis, a black belt in jiu-jitsu, but I haven’t seen (Reis) use his jiu-jitsu in the fight. And his cardio is not good, he gassed. The day I get this fight, rest assured that I won’t get tired. And if Demetrious Johnson takes me down, he will meet the jiu-jitsu from Para."
Figueiredo needs to get past Brooks at Saturday’s event in order to move one step closer to his dream, and promises an impressive finish in Sao Paulo.
"I can’t wait to step inside the cage and get the job done,” Figueiredo said. "I’ll bring another win for the Brazilian crowd, no doubt about it. This fight will definitely take my career to another level in the UFC.
"Most of my wins were by knockout or submission, and most of his wins were by decision. If he comes to take me down, I’ll be ready, I’ll get the win, no doubt. He likes to go for takedowns to lay and pray, and I see no qualities in him when he gets the fight to the ground. My potential is way bigger than his. He might even take me down, but he won’t keep me there. I have a lot of traps for him."
The Brazilian flyweight only went the distance once in his MMA career, while Brooks won decisions in six of his 13 MMA bouts. The way the fight ends at UFC Fight Night 119 depends on what Brooks does, Figueiredo says.
"I’m confident I’ll catch this kid with a guillotine,” “Deus da Guerra” said. "He will try to take me down and I’ll catch him with a guillotine. If he stands with me, I’ll connect some blows and knock him out."