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Deiveson Figueiredo doubts Brandon Moreno’s evolution with new team: ‘He’s never changed his game’

Deiveson Figueiredo on The MMA Hour

Deiveson Figueiredo isn’t quite ready to bury the hatchet with Brandon Moreno.

At UFC 277, Moreno knocked out Kai Kara-France to claim the interim flyweight title, setting up a future fourth fight with Figueiredo. In an attempt to build the fight, the UFC brought Figueiredo into the cage during Moreno’s post-fight interview for a faceoff. Given their contentious history, many believed the situation could have turned ugly quickly, but instead Moreno made an impassioned speech, squashing their beef and apologizing for anything he did to offend the flyweight champion.

In the cage, Figueiredo accepted the apology and shook hands with Moreno. But now, a few days removed, “Deus de Guerra” is back to business.

“When I entered the cage, I entered with rage,” Figueiredo said through a translator to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I’m always looking for a knockout, but Brandon was so sweet during the interview that it was contagious and it kind of rubbed off on me. It kind of calmed the beast in me, but now I’m back, the rage is back, and I’m coming for the knockout in the fourth fight.”

Figueiredo and Moreno have fought three times already, going 1-1-1, and as their rivalry has continued, the animosity has grown. Earlier this year, Figueido even said he did not want a fourth fight with Moreno due to “racist comments” made by one of Moreno’s coaches. But that isn’t the only reason Figueiredo has tension with his rival.

“I’m not friends with any kind of traitor,” Figueiredo explained. “The first thing he did was he betrayed Henry Cejudo. Henry opened his house to him and his family, they lived with Henry Cejudo, and then he went on to become [Joseph] Benavidez’s sparring partner. Second, after he lost to me, he abandoned his longtime coach for years, a person that helped create him, and he left him. So I’m never going to be friends with a traitor.

“I don’t hate him, but we’re not friends. He wants to be friends, but this is the fourth fight. This is to make history. We can be friends after, but not before or during.”

For his part, Moreno entirely set aside any ill will he had for Figueiredo, and is similarly focused on their eventual fourth fight.

Moreno recently changed camps, working with James Krause and Glory MMA for his bout with Kara-France, and while many praised the move and Moreno’s performance this past weekend, Figueiredo was less glowing in his assessment.

“Brandon looked the same as he always has,” Figueiredo said. “He’s never changed his game. It’s always the same and I have the antidote for him.

“Brandon Moreno knows I’m an incredible fighter, and I’m going to get to this fight even more incredible. I’m 95 percent, I’m already training all aspects of MMA. I’m a person that loves to go 110 percent for every training [session]. My game is evolving every single day and he knows nothing about my game. I’m going to bring a new game to him once again. He knows nothing about the ‘God of War.’ The quadrilogy, you will see a new ‘God of War’ in this fight.”

With a new “God of War,” Figueiredo also hopes to have a new location for their fight.

The previous three meetings between Figueiredo and Moreno all took place in the United States — in Nevada, Arizona, and California. But as a UFC champion who hasn’t fought in Brazil in over four years, Figueiredo hopes the UFC will do right by him and finally let him defend his belt at home.

“Let’s go, UFC. I’ve fought always in Moreno’s home, 90 percent of the crowd is Mexican, cheering for him. They’ve never been to Brazil for any of my fights. I want to bring that to my fans, to my family.” Figueiredo said. “Bring it to Brazil, let’s go UFC. Sao Paulo. I want my family and friends to be able to come and watch.”

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