Dillashaw announced on Tuesday he has relinquished the bantamweight title when informed of a potential positive drug test following his loss to Henry Cejudo in January. That finding affects the future of both weight classes since Dillashaw and Cejudo were campaigning for an immediate rematch at 135 pounds.
Figueiredo expected that a win over No. 1 ranked flyweight Formiga on Saturday would convince the UFC to book him against Cejudo for the 125-pound championship next. Figueiredo is 4-0 under the UFC banner with three stoppage wins, while Formiga enters the Octagon riding a three-fight winning streak, capped off by a decision over Sergio Pettis.
With Dillashaw no longer in the picture, “God of War” sees a clearer path ahead.
“The rematch between Dillashaw and Cejudo won’t happen anytime soon after the news that he tested positive, so that helps me a lot,” Figueiredo told MMA Fighting. “To me, a win over Formiga will definitely put me in a title fight against Cejudo.”
The situation isn’t so simple, though, given that Cejudo can still move up to bantamweight and challenge another fighter for the now vacant 135-pound gold. If that scenario comes to fruition and Cejudo moves up, Figueiredo suggests a clash with Joseph Benavidez for the flyweight title.
“If (Cejudo) really doesn’t want to fight (at flyweight) anymore, that opens space for a new title fight,” said Figueiredo, who was scheduled to face Benavidez at January’s UFC 233 before the event got cancelled. “That opens a huge gap for a new championship fight. I’m happy with those news, man.”
The UFC has yet to announce any decision regarding the bantamweight title and the future of the flyweight division.