Two months after winning a decision and going 1-1-1 against the Mexican fighter to bring the UFC flyweight title back to Brazil, Figueiredo isn’t interested in an immediately tetralogy, he said on this week’s edition of MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast, Trocação Franca.
Reports indicated the UFC was planning on pairing them one more time for July. Figueiredo said he “didn’t know the fight already was in negotiation” and called his longtime manager Wallid Ismail to inform him he was still treating injuries on both hands and there was no way he would fight so early.
Also, he’s fed up with Moreno.
“This fight against Brandon Moreno doesn’t interest me,” Figueiredo said. “He was racist with me, his followers constantly coming to my social media calling me monkey, Brandon Moreno’s coach posted a picture of me with a monkey face. This fight simply doesn’t interest me because of that. This guy doesn’t deserve a title fight for his racist attitude. The fight to make is me against Kai Kara-France. … I want his head now.”
The way his recovery is going, Figueiredo said he’s targeting a return to the octagon “by October or November.”
“[The finger injury] is not an injury that gets better overnight,” he said. “I had an MRI and asked to forward it to the UFC. I have another injury [on the left hand] that I can’t hit pads, and that’s been bothering me. I’m only able to train grappling in the gym, no punches.”
Kara-France won a decision over Askarov this past Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, a result Figueiredo said he already expected because “he knocked out Cody Garbrandt and has great striking, while the Russian only has that boring grappling game of his.”
“That’s why I want to fight that guy, a guy that believes in his hands,” Figueiredo said of the Kiwi flyweight. “I believe a lot in my hands, too. I believe a lot in my jiu-jitsu, my wrestling. I think this match-up against Kai Kara-France favors me.
“I have to be worried with his striking because it’s efficient. He has a dangerous overhand. His style is similar to mine. I throw a lot os overhands, and one of us can land a powerful hand.”
Figueiredo has only lost twice as a professional MMA fighter, a decision to Jussier Formiga in 2019 and the submission upset versus Moreno in June 2021. His list of victims includes Joseph Benavidez, Tim Elliott, Alexandre Pantoja and John Moraga, and he plans on adding Kara-France’s name to it later this year.
“[I will beat him] by knockout, no doubt about it,” Figueiredo said. “He will try to trade with me, my hand will touch and he will go down. If he goes down but not out, I’ll submit him. I think [this fight] will be very similar to the one with Moreno, the third one. He went down when my hand touched him. He was lucky he was saved by the bell. When I had the choke in, the round was over.”