Brandon Moreno dethroned Deiveson Figueiredo as UFC flyweight champion in June, and the former titleholder’s brother Francisco Figueiredo is out to silence the critics.
Francisco, who defeated Jerome Rivera via decision in his octagon debut back in January, returns to action just five weeks after his brother’s submission loss in Glendale, Ariz. He fights Malcolm Gordon at UFC Vegas 31 on Saturday.
“Sniper” admits he wasn’t happy to see the criticism his brother had to face after losing his UFC belt.
“I was very motivated by that,” Francisco said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “I saw so many people talking crap. My brother was coming off several wins, fantastic fights, and he loses once and he’s not good anymore? Many people talking shit.
“That got me very motivated to show that our jiu-jitsu is good, that our striking is good, that our team is the best. That’s why I’m motivated for this fight.”
The UFC has yet to decide who’s next to fight Deiveson, but his brother revealed that the ex-champion wants to be on the undercard of Moreno’s first title defense if the company opts against an immediate trilogy with Moreno.
“Looks like Brandon Moreno doesn’t want to fight him right now, he wasn’t interested in doing the trilogy with ‘Daico’ now,” Francisco said. “He wants to fight on the same day Brandon Moreno defends the belt. I’m sure [Deiveson] will beat anyone up and reclaim the belt. I’m sure my brother will conquer the belt again if he wants to.”
Both Figueiredo brothers are now climbing the same ladder in the UFC flyweight class, and Francisco hopes to make an impact against Gordon in Las Vegas.
“It’s a good matchup for me, man,” he said. “He’s flat-footed. I don’t think too much of him. I’m better than him on the feet and my jiu-jitsu is better than his. Gordon is at risk of getting cut open in this fight.”
Gordon is 12-5 as a professional and has yet to win under the UFC banner following back-to-back defeats at the hands of Amir Albazi and Su Mudaerji in 2020. Figueiredo predicts that the Canadian flyweight won’t make it out of the opening stanza.
“I’ll finish this fight in the first round,” Figueiredo said. “I want to submit him, man. I want to submit him because he has many fights and I’ve seen him submit other fighters before, he’s no fool on the ground, but I think I’m better than him. I think I’ll dominate him in all areas. I’m sure of that. And I knock him out if he makes one mistake.”