With UFC 255 in the books, defending Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo has a title defense on his record. Defeating #4 ranked contender Alex Perez via submission in the first round should serve notice to all 125-lb scrappers that the road to glory goes through him. Already celebrated as the champion, he looks to continue to dominate each contender he goes face to face with.
With five straight wins and four early finishes, three submissions, and two guillotine chokes, Figueiredo has accumulated a 9-1 UFC record since debuting in June of 2017. He has seized the moment and has gone through eight opponents, one being Joseph Benevidez twice. One of those times was for the Flyweight Championship where he missed weight in the first title bout, despite winning a second-round TKO. He made up for it in the second bout by making weight and finishing the fight in the first round via submission.
Born in a small town of Source in his homeland of Brazil, he worked on a farm with his father as a young boy until the age of thirteen. Before getting into MMA, he held several jobs as a bricklayer, a hairdresser, and a sushi chef. He holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and carries heavy hands inside the Octagon, where he brings knockout power. His previous occupations also go-to show that he’s a jack of all trades.
His performance over Perez was so dominant that the UFC has booked Figueiredo to defend his title against Brandon Moreno at UFC 256 on December 12. Moreno defeated Brandon Royval just before the first round ended via TKO to earn a shot at the title this past Saturday night. If Figueiredo can extend his win streak to six and title defenses to two, the UFC can have another star in the making. He may have big shoes to fill in order to become as dominant a flyweight champion as Demetrious Johnson, who defended the title eleven times. But if Figueiredo can remain consistent in finishing fights earlier, like he has, and build his strengths of versatility, he may be a marquee name the UFC can market.
His drawbacks are that he can’t speak the English language and is a short fighter in a very lightweight class. It will be difficult to market someone with talent. With another title fight in a few weeks at age 32, Figueiredo will need to hustle and fight with even further desperation in order to be a prizefighter on top of a skilled craftsman. Having little time to prepare for Brandon Moreno, this will be a big test that can determine whether he can carry the division. Whether in the same way Johnson did, that remains to be seen.