In short, Figueiredo is upset that the UFC has created an interim belt for his weight class. Former 125-pound king Brandon Moreno and No. 2-ranked combatant Kai Kara-Frace will contend for it on July 30 at UFC 277.
Figueiredo is sidelined with injured hands and can’t compete this summer.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, the “God of War” called the belt a “joke” and said that he’s highly considering leaving the weight class altogether.
“I don’t rule out this option,” Figueiredo said about moving to bantamweight. “It’s up to the UFC. If we have a chat and they can increase my earnings inside the organization, then I’ll stay in the division. But, if nothing happens, I’ll be forced to move up. I’ll stay in the flyweight [division] if they increase my purse.
“I already wanted [to move up] but still wanted to fight three more fights in the division. With this decision [to create an interim title], they’ve made my decision to go up sooner 95 percent more likely.”
Well, the UFC president doesn’t appear too fazed by the God of War’s demand. While recently appearing on Barstool Sports’ “Spinnin Backfist” podcast, White said he hadn’t heard Figueiredo’s comments.
The podcast’s co-host, Robbie Fox, filled the UFC president in on Figueiredo’s issue with the promotion. And in response, White simply replied: “Cool.”
Figueiredo Said He Thinks the UFC Doesn’t Believe He’s Injured
In the interview with MMA Fighting, the God of War said there’s a chance the UFC doesn’t believe he’s actually injured. So, the champion said he is willing to prove it to the brass that he is.
“I’m very upset, and I’ll send the UFC all the exams I have that prove my injury, because I’ve heard that they haven’t received these documents,” Figueiredo said.
“Of course that’s what happened, man,” he said. “I think there was some miscommunication, the UFC was supposed to get these documents that prove my injury, but, from what I’ve heard, the UFC hasn’t received it. They could’ve reached out to me to know if I was ok instead of booking a fight for an interim belt.
“That was bulls***. I’ve saved a main event in the UFC, doing the quickest turnaround in the history of the UFC as a champion, and now I’m getting ripped off. The belt is mine. There’s no other belt, except for this plastic belt, this joke they’re doing between Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France.”
The God of War Doesn’t Want to Fight Until He Is ‘100 Percent’
Of course, Figueiredo doesn’t want to step inside the Octagon until his hands are “100 percent.” The God of War told MMA Fighting that he’ll “never enter a war while injured.”
“I wanna be 100 percent,” Figueiredo continued. “I’m the champion, and if I’m 100 percent, rest assured that it won’t be easy to take this belt from me.”
The 34-year-old champion has a professional mixed martial arts record of 21-2-1. He’s battled Moreno in his last three bouts, going 1-1-1 with the Mexican-born fighter. He earned the flyweight title back in his most recent outing with Moreno, battling to a unanimous decision win at UFC 270 in January.