UFC flyweight champ Deiveson Figueiredo is making a record-setting turnaround when he faces Brandon Moreno at UFC 256. But despite previous struggles on the scale, he said he’s on target to make 125 pounds.
During a virtual media day for the pay-per-view event at UFC APEX, Figueiredo on Wednesday told MMA Fighting he currently weighs 60 kilograms, or 132.2 pounds. It’s the second time in three weeks he is required to make championship weight, something no other UFC champion has done.
“Maybe I could even make weight today or tomorrow, and I just want to show that I am able to make weight,” Figueiredo said via translator. “I’m able to stay on weight and keep a low weight throughout this week.”
Previous issues on the scale have cost Figueiredo professionally. He was ruled ineligible for the vacant flyweight title earlier this year when he came in heavy for a fight against Joseph Benavidez. A knockout win set up a rematch, and he made things right with a smooth weigh-in and submission victory that brought the official flyweight title.
This past month, Figueiredo notched a quick submission win over Alex Perez, a replacement for the injured ex-bantamweight champ Cody Garbrandt. Moreno irked him with a callout, setting up the quick turnaround at UFC 256.
“Brandon’s a guy that asked to fight with me from the Benavidez fight,” the champ said. “That’s something that irritated and bothered me a little bit. If he’s asking to fight me, then come into the octagon and see.”
Moreno isn’t the only one that’s called out Figueiredo, of course. The title has come with several suitors, including Garbrandt, who angered the champ’s team by getting an immediate title shot despite no appearances at flyweight, and Henry Cejudo, the former flyweight and bantamweight champ, who with characteristic salt dismissed his successor.
All of the attention – negative or otherwise – is a good thing to Figueiredo.
“Those guys are really only just making me bigger,” he said. “Talk more about me. It’s going to make me stronger and give me more followers on Instagram.”
As with other dominant flyweights, there are already questions about how Figueiredo is going to perform at the box office. Historically, the division hasn’t been a boon for the UFC, even when Demetrious Johnson set a record for title defenses at 11. UFC President Dana White hopes Figueiredo’s knockout performances will set him above others. But the way the champ sees it, any name-building opponents are a good thing.
If Cejudo decides to end his retirement, Figueiredo will be waiting.
“Cejudo’s a masked clown, and I can’t wait for him to step in front of me so I can knock that mask off his face,” he said. “I’ll be using heavy blows to do that.”