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Deiveson Figueiredo doesn’t rule out move to bantamweight after rough weight cut for UFC 263

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MMA: UFC 263-Weigh Ins
Deiveson Figueiredo says he struggled to make championship weight for UFC 263.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Deiveson Figueiredo has decisions to make after losing his UFC belt.

“Deus da Guerra” was dethroned by Brandon Moreno in their UFC 263 rematch in Glendale, Ariz., losing by third-round submission this past Saturday. Two days after the fight, Figueiredo was gracious in defeat while talking to MMA Fighting, saying “we have to share our joy,” feeling happy to see Moreno experience what he has in the past.

That said, the Brazilian confirms that a rough weight cut indeed affected his performance at the Gila River Arena.

“I always have a problem making weight, brother, and it happened the same thing this time,” said Figueiredo, who made championship weight with seconds to spare on Friday morning. Back in December, Figueiredo was hospitalized the night before facing Moreno.

“I almost didn’t make weight, it was quite complicated, it really was,” he said. “Maybe that was it, it made me slow, but I felt I was doing well in the fight. I just couldn’t find myself, and when I was about to [find myself] he took my back and submitted me, something I didn’t expect.”

In an online pre-fight media scrum with Brazilian reporters on Tuesday, Figueiredo says he was on track to make championship weight smoothly for UFC 263, but says his weight got “stuck” while dehydrating.

“I don’t know if it was due to the weather here, I don’t know how to explain,” Figueiredo said. “It’s too dry here, so we drink more water. I was drinking almost eight liters [two gallons] of water. Maybe that held the liquid in my body, or maybe I ate something wrong. I really don’t know. The only thing I know is that it complicated my weight cut. It was hard, I almost didn’t make it.”

Figueiredo was seen crying after the weigh-ins in one of the episodes of UFC 263 Embedded, and admits he thought he wouldn’t be able to hit the 125-pound mark.

“I even fought my coaches, I said I couldn’t do it,” he continued. “I was bad. Not physically bad, but my head was shaken already. I starved for two days, not drinking water well for days. The fight happened thanks to [my coaches] and a doctor friend of ours that was here for the event.”

Moreno became the first Mexican-born to ever win a UFC championship, and Figueiredo wants a trilogy bout in October after a majority draw and a defeat in a span of six months. That said, there’s a chance “Deus da Guerra” never competes at 125 pounds again.

“I think about moving up [to bantamweight] but, in order to make that decision, I have to go back home and sit down with my team and talk about it and make the best decision. I have to go back home and talk to my team. [But] let’s see if this trilogy happens, right, man? I asked for the rematch with him.

“I’ll talk to guy team and see what I can do to improve my diet, maybe even bring in my nutritionist with me [to the fights]. I have to go back home to really know what I want to do, man. But, right now, I asked for the trilogy. I clearly won the first one, but they took a point away and made it a draw. That’s what happens when you leave it in the hands of the judges. Their decisions isn’t always pleasant.”

First and foremost, “Deus da Guerra” jokes he has to return to his hometown and “remove the jinx that is holding him back.” And if the UFC chooses to book an immediately trilogy for the flyweight championship, Figueiredo vows to train harder and respect Moreno’s grappling skills.

“I saw he has great boxing and jiu-jitsu,” Figueiredo said. “I think I’ll train twice as hard now, not thinking I’m better than him in jiu-jitsu, you know?"