UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo hired Urijah Faber as his new manager after splitting with his longtime agent Wallid Ismail, and he hopes it leads to a big bump in pay.
Still recovering from injuries to both hands and unable to re-enter the octagon anytime soon, Figueiredo said “numbers” were always his focus in MMA, and that’s the main reason why he’s shifting managers.
“I’ve changed managers looking for someone that presents me great numbers in the UFC,” Figueiredo said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca. “Faber has contacts in the company, is close to [UFC President] Dana [White], is American and lives there, knows the numbers and how it works, and I’m sure he’ll fight hard for me there.”
“In a private conversation with him, he told me my numbers were too low. I knew that already, that my numbers don’t exist. Guys fighting for the belt get paid around $500,000, and defending [champions] get around $600,000, and my numbers would never go over $200,000. This last fight, I got paid [$100,000 to show and $100,000 to win] or [$100,000 to show, $50,000 to win], I don’t know. Totally embarrassing. I know it’s low. It was on desperate to get the title fight. I know it’s a good purse for someone challenging for the belt.”
Figueiredo’s injury setback led the UFC to book an interim title fight between Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France on July 30.
With Faber as his manager, Figueiredo expects “great evolution, without a doubt, for my title defense.” However, his quest for better pay and recent threats to leave the division weren’t received well by flyweight peers. Moreno said “nobody cares” if the Brazilian is moving up to bantamweight or not, and Manel Kape called the champion “ungrateful.”
“Brandon Moreno doesn’t interest me, he’s a racist, so he better stay quiet because racists deserve no attention,” Figueiredo responded. “I won’t even talk about him. He doesn’t exist to me. And Manel Kape is down there [in the rankings], he still has to work to get where I’m at. And if they don’t like money, I’m sorry, but I do, and I’ll fight to get a good purse.”
As for his previous agent, who managed his career from his UFC debut back in 2017, Figueiredo said “Wallid simply goes on with his life, and I’ll go on with mine” after a series of disagreements during his past camp left the flyweight champion feel “disrespected.”
“I thank him for everything he’s done for me,” Figueiredo said. “I haven’t done anything unfair with him, I’m sure of that, and I hope he never says otherwise, especially because I’ve always fought to give him money. As a company, he worked for me, and I always fought for what he’s got to me, and always paid him. And if I have to pay him something else after this, rest assured I’ll leave this work without owing hm anything.”
“And there were some arguments — let me think here so I don’t say any crap, brother,” he added. “We were always arguing. I started to have some suspicions [of him], you know? I have no proof, I won’t even say what, but, I don’t know, he became someone I didn’t trust anymore, and that’s bad. When you don’t trust someone anymore, in order to avoid getting hurt or anything serious happening, we prefer to step aside immediately.”