Deiveson Figueiredo’s Chances at Bantamweight Questioned By UFC Champion

Deiveson Figueiredo

Getty Deiveson Figueiredo

Former UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo is heading to bantamweight, but his four-time opponent, Brandon Moreno, isn’t sure the divisional move will work out for “Deus da Guerra.”

Moreno and Figueiredo competed in a quadrilogy match to unify the belt during UFC 283 on January 21. And after “The Assassin Baby” unified the belt by besting Figueiredo via doctor’s stoppage, Deus da Guerra announced he was moving north of 125 pounds.

The current flyweight king spoke with Ariel Helwani on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” this week and during the interview, Moreno gave his take on Figueiredo’s weight change. Although he praised Figueiredo’s power, Moreno pointed to 135 pounds being one of the most stacked divisions in the promotion — and he’s not sure how Deus da Guerra stacks up with the bigger combatants.

“I train with a lot of ‘35ers. It’s a really tough division,” Moreno said. “Number one is lightweight, talking about the most competitive division, and right now, I think second one is bantamweight division, so I don’t know. The guy is huge, very huge. Very huge for 125, but I don’t know for 135. Let’s see what happens, because the guy has a lot of power in the right hand, for sure. Maybe with less of a weight cut, he can get more energy and more power. I don’t know. I want to see.”

Moreno Said Pressuring Figueiredo Was Key to Defeating Him

The Assassin Baby was largely successful in utilizing grappling to best Figueiredo in their fourth encounter. But more importantly, Moreno dictated the pace of the bout — something he told Helwani was critical to defeating the Brazilian.

“He doesn’t like the pressure,” Moreno said. “He doesn’t like to be walking back or in a lot of transitions, because he starts to get tired and he starts to get frustrated. At some little point of his mind, he likes to quit. I can see it, and I saw it before, especially in the second fight against him. So the game plan wasn’t, ‘Wrestle with him, or do this with him.’

“Nothing very specific. Just push the pace, put a lot of pressure on him, make him feel tired, and then he will want to finish the fight at some point. I saw the replay with the doctor, I don’t want to say he quit, but his face and his body language looked like, ‘That’s it. I don’t have nothing more.’ And that was the plan.”

Moreno Owns 2 Stoppage Wins Over Figueiredo

The UFC 283 co-main event was stopped in between the third and fourth rounds after the cage-side doctor assessed Figueiredo’s eye, which had been compromised by a punch Moreno landed. The loss marked Figueiredo’s first loss via KO/TKO, and his professional mixed martial arts record fell to 21-3-1. On the other end, Moreno boats a 21-6-2 record.

Further, Moreno edged Figueiredo in their multi-fight rivalry — he is 2-1-1 against Deus da Guerra, which includes a rear-naked choke victory in June 2021. The Assassin Baby is the only fighter Figueiredo has met inside the Octagon since November 2020, whereas Moreno paired up with Kai Kara-France for an interim title match in July.

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