Deiveson Figueiredo has indicated that his upcoming title defense could be the last time he competes as a flyweight.
The 35-year-old is scheduled to meet rival Brandon Moreno in the co-main event of UFC 283, which will take place in Figueiredo’s native Brazil. The matchup is the fourth meeting between the two men, and it should finally close the book on a series of fights that began with a majority draw and has seen each man win the flyweight title.
“Deus da Guerra” currently holds the flyweight belt but has teased a move up to bantamweight on multiple occasions following his victory over Moreno at UFC 270. There’d be no shortage of contenders waiting to challenge Figueiredo if he defends the title at UFC 283, but the Brazilian claims he already has plans to move on from the flyweight division.
“I want to test myself at bantamweight,” Figueiredo told the UFC’s Steve Latrell. “Regardless of the outcome, I’m going there to get this win and then test myself at 135. I want to go up to 135 as soon as possible. I’m about to be 35 years old and I don’t want to put my body through too much at 125.”
Figueiredo’s first chance to become flyweight champion came in a matchup for the vacant title against Joseph Benavidez in 2020, but the Brazilian missed weight and was unable to claim the belt even after a knockout victory.
“Deus da Guerra” made weight for the rematch with Benavidez later that year, and a first-round guillotine choke crowned the Brazilian as the UFC’s flyweight champion. Figueiredo defended his title against Alex Perez before facing Moreno for the first time in late 2020, but the 35-year-old admits that it’s been a constant battle for him to make weight in his current division.Figueiredo reclaimed the flyweight title with a unanimous decision win at UFC 270. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
“Flyweight is a weight class where I have to do everything right to make weight and that stresses me out a lot. That’s why I want to test myself at 135.”
If the 35-year-old truly does intend to move up to bantamweight, he’ll join arguably the UFC’s deepest division and slot in alongside a number of potential title challengers. Champion Aljamain Sterling recently revealed he needs some time off to allow a bicep injury to heal, which means that a rumored title defense against the returning Henry Cejudo has been shelved for the time being.
UFC 283 will be the UFC’s first trip to Brazil since 2020, and the promotion has stacked the card with plenty of Brazilian fighters leading up to Figueiredo and Moreno’s fourth meeting. The night’s main event also includes Brazil’s Glover Teixeira facing Jamahal Hill in a bout for the UFC’s vacant light heavyweight title.
What do you make of Figueiredo’s claim that he’s going to move up to bantamweight sooner rather than later?