Champion Gives Demand to UFC, Threatens to Leave Division

Dana White

Getty Dana White

Reigning UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo wants more money from the promotion and if that doesn’t happen, the “God of War” said he’ll move up to bantamweight.

Figueiredo’s comments are fueled by the UFC’s division to create an interim title in his division. The God of War’s three-time opponent, ex-125 pound champion Brandon Moreno, and No. 2-ranked Kai Kara-France will fight for it on July 30 at UFC 277.

The Brazilian, who is sidelined with injured hands, shared his frustration during a recent interview with MMA Fighting, calling the UFC’s decision to introduce an interim belt a “joke.”

Figueiredo told the outlet that he thinks the UFC doesn’t believe that he’s actually injured and has to be shelved until October or November.

“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 continued. “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.”

Figueiredo Said He Wants More Money From the UFC or He’ll Be ‘Forced to Move Up’ to 135 Pounds

The God of War has been eyeing a move to bantamweight for years, telling Heavy in 2020 that he wants to become a two-division champion.

And according to Figueiredo’s recent interview, the UFC’s decision to introduce the interim strap could expedite that move. Unless the promotion pays up.

“I don’t rule out this option. It’s up to the UFC,” Figueiredo said. “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.”

Figueiredo Believes Alexandre Pantoja Should Be Fighting Moreno

Figueiredo also disagrees with who is fighting for the interim belt next month. Instead of Kara-Frace, the God of War said Alexandre Pantoja should have been slotted in against Moreno.

“They’re two guys who are at the top, but I think they put the wrong guy to fight Brandon Moreno,” Figueiredo continued. “I think the guy to fight him should be [Alexandre] Pantoja. I don’t know what happens with the UFC, we don’t see them valuing Pantoja. They don’t give the opportunity to a good fighter like Pantoja.”

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