UFC Champion ‘Seriously’ Considering Leaving Weight Class After Blindside

UFC Belt

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Reigning UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo may leave the division he rules instead of unifying the belt against the eventual interim title winner at UFC 277 on July 30.

The “God of War” recently spoke with AG Fight about his current situation with the promotion. Figueiredo is sidelined with a hand injury and couldn’t defend his strap in July. So, the UFC decided to create an interim belt which will be contested for by Figueiredo’s three-time opponent, former 125-pound king Brandon Moreno, and the No. 2 contender, Kai Kara France.

Figueiredo (21-2) is frustrated that the UFC introduced another championship in his division considering he earned the belt back in January by besting Moreno at UFC 270 via unanimous decision.

“I was upset because I didn’t expect that from the UFC,” Figueiredo said via MMA Junkie’s translation. “A few months ago, I had the last fight and the UFC already has an interim belt? I’m in disbelief. … I’ve always provided great shows for the UFC and I feel undervalued because of this interim belt.

“I’ll even use a phrase from Charles (Oliveira): ‘The champion has a name, and his name is Deiveson Figueiredo.’ This plastic belt is meaningless.”

Figueiredo Said He Is ‘Thinking About Leaving the Division’

The God of War continued with his thoughts on the state of his weight class.

Figueiredo appears so blindsided by the UFC’s decision, that he’s considering walking away from 125 pounds altogether. He said he will be in attendance for the interim fight, and plans to chat with the UFC brass as well as his coaches, former two-division champion Henry Cejudo and Eric Albarracin, about possibly moving up to bantamweight.

“I am very disappointed,” the God of War continued. “I confess I seriously am thinking about leaving the division. Henry Cejudo and I saved this division, and after this move by the UFC, I’m honestly about to make decisions. I hope I don’t take them, but if I do, I’ll leave the division and go up to bantamweight.

“Always before making decisions, I like to reflect so as not to make mistakes. Let that interim belt roll; I’ll be there. The champion is called Deiveson. I’ll be there to see this little facade. I still have a lot to talk about, if possible in person with Dana White. I want to talk to them in the United States. I will also meet with Henry Cejudo and Eric Albarracin to see what to do.”

Figueiredo Expressed Interest in Moving to Bantamweight After Initially Becoming the UFC Flyweight Champion

This is not the first time the God of War has taken interest in moving from flyweight to 135 pounds. In an interview with Heavy ahead of his first title defense against Alex Perez at UFC 255 in November 2020, Figueiredo said he wanted to become a two-division champion.

And speaking about then-bantamweight champion Petr Yan, Figueiredo said: “Petr is a great striker and is a great fighter but I think I would win because I’m a more complete fighter. I would probably take Yan to the ground and finish him.”

Figueiredo went on to stop Perez in under one round. He’s fought Moreno three times in a row since then, battling to a draw, losing his belt via rear-naked choke and then winning it back by unanimous decision.

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