Figueiredo and Moreno have fought in three consecutive outings with each new bout more memorable than the last. Attempting to justify four straight fights between the same two competitors is truly about as rare of a situation as there can be in MMA, especially with a title on the line. Yet in this case, it makes as much sense as it possibly could.
The competitive nature of the pairing aside, the rivalry is split perfectly at 1-1-1 and began with a draw before the rematch saw the title change hands to Moreno. At UFC 270 in January, Figueiredo won the strap back by a unanimous judges’ call.
Since Figueiredo reclaimed his title, he’s been fine with the concept of once again facing Moreno. At the same time, he’s mentioned surging New Zealander Kai Kara-France, who he now appears to be putting the entirety of his focus on for multiple reasons.
“Dear Dana White, I just wanted to say thank you for the opportunities that you have given me, my family, and my country,” Figueiredo posted on Instagram. “You know that I would fight anybody, anytime and anywhere. That’s being said, I wanted to fight Brandon Moreno for the fourth time because I know this is what the fans want. Until his team crossed the line with racist comments. Calling me a monkey and even going to the extent of photoshopping a monkey's face on top of mine. You know what I’m talking about, Raul Arvizu.
“When all this happened I went on a campaign to stop racism and prejudice in my city where it is predominately Indians and blacks. As the UFC champion of the world, I ask you to consider my wish. I wish to fight the next contender in line, Kai Kara-France who has earned his spot. #stoptherasicm #weareone”
Moreno’s manager Jason House responded to Figueiredo’s post.
@Daico_Deiveson "Desperado...why don't you come to your senses?"— Jason House (@JasonKHouse) March 29, 2022
Whoever wrote this tweet, please give Deiveson his phone back...and remove your foot from your mouth. No racist comments have been made since you agreed to the 4th fight, so this makes zero sense. pic.twitter.com/kFHEv8oiQt
Kara-France suffered his first UFC setback when taking on the aforementioned former champion Moreno in a Dec. 2019 meeting that resulted in a unanimous decision loss. “Don’t Blink” has been virtually flawless in his five bouts that have followed. After a submission defeat to Brandon Royval in Sept. 2020, Kara-France went on to rattle off three straight by knocking out Rogerio Bontorin and former bantamweight titleholder Cody Garbrandt.
This past weekend at UFC Columbus, the Kiwi handed the unbeaten Askar Askarov his first career defeat in 16 bouts when earning a unanimous decision nod. Before expressing his recent thoughts on Instagram, Figueiredo provided an immediate reaction on Twitter.
“Congratulations you dirty Kiwi, Kai Kara-France you just punched your ticket with the ‘God of War,’” Figueiredo tweeted. “Brandon Moreno, you just took the back seat. You are 0-2 against Alexandre Pantoja. If you could beat him I’ll give you the next title shot. Let’s make it happen, Dana White.”
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Inspirational “King” Casey.
Remember guys ! Nobody gives a shit about your amateur record as soon as you go pro it disappears! Fight as much as possible, make mistakes, build experience & take your time— Casey Oneill (@kingcaseymma) March 29, 2022
It’s well known by ppl I regularly engage with or know me from school or outside of mma that I’ve had a stutter/ speech impediment my entire life it’s got nothing to do with mma. Too many idiots running around saying “bLaYdEs SoUnDs LiKe HeS gOt CtE” ♂️— Curtis Blaydes (@RazorBlaydes265) March 28, 2022
We rollin’ in gold!
Proudly displaying my International Sports Hall of Fame Jacket and Gold awards..still “Rolllnnn” Baby!! pic.twitter.com/7c6k0imR54— Burt Watson (@BurtWatson4real) March 28, 2022
I suspect it was Strickland who hacked my account .— Paulo Costa ( Borrachinha ) (@BorrachinhaMMA) March 28, 2022
The most talented guy I've seen walk into the gym. This kid will have a bright future. https://t.co/IWuVti9w6b— Patricio Pitbull (@PatricioPitbull) March 28, 2022
Almost time to Ilimanate.
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Who should face Deiveson Figueiredo next?
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