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Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil prepares to fight Rob Font in a bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Moody Center on December 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)
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Deiveson Figuieredo: “This Is My Division”

UFC Bantamweight And Former Flyweight Champion Deiveson Figueiredo Aims To Settle The Score With Cody Garbrandt At UFC 300: Pereira vs Hill

A flyweight title fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Cody Garbrandt was set back in 2020, but the fight fell through, prompting the Brazilian champion to explore other opportunities. Figueiredo defended his title versus Alex Perez and then went on a four-fight journey with Brandon Moreno.

After the rivalry with Moreno, Figueredo made it clear that his time at flyweight was over and he was making the move up to 135 pounds. At the end of 2023, Figueiredo made a successful bantamweight debut, winning a unanimous decision over longtime contender Rob Font.

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Although Garbrandt did follow through with his plan to move down to flyweight, it was short lived after a defeat to contender Kai Kara-France sent “No Love” back up to bantamweight. He’s since put together a two-fight win streak, with his second win coming at UFC 296 just weeks after Figueiredo’s win over Font. In the Octagon, Garbrandt called out Figueiredo, stating that he had unfinished business with the former flyweight champion.

Figueiredo was happy to oblige the former bantamweight champion and eagerly agreed to face Garbrandt at UFC 300: Pereira vs Hill.

Opponents Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil and Cody Garbrandt face off during the UFC 300 press conference at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Opponents Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil and Cody Garbrandt face off during the UFC 300 press conference at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“It should have happened in the 125-pound division. We talked trash, we argued, and I wanted to face him,” Figueiredo told Evelyn Rodrigues of UFC FIGHT PASS Brazil. “Anyway, I moved up to the bantamweight division and now we are going to fight. He moved down, had one fight, and moved up again. He didn’t find himself in my division because the guys are short, but they are very tough. It was hard for me to maintain 125 pounds. I started gaining weight, I’m 36 years old now, so I decided to move up to keep me healthy.”

“I wouldn’t say it’s a rivalry, we just don’t get along. We talk; we don’t get along, but we say hi and we respect each other.”

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Figueiredo is expecting things to be tense between him and Garbrandt, which is the type of atmosphere he feels in which he operates best. The history between the two gave Figueiredo extra motivation in his fight preparation.

What Figueiredo won’t be used to is being the first fight of the night. He’s long been a mainstay on the main card while in the UFC, but he’s not concerned with his placement on UFC 300. Figueiredo believes there are so many great fights that it makes sense where he’s placed, and his family will be benefit from his fight taking place so early in the evening.

“I’ve never had another chance to be in the first fight so I’m really happy. I’ll kick things off at an epic event. After the fight I can go out and have fun with my family and also watch the other fights,” Figueiredo said. “My family will be a little far in the audience but I’ll try to get them close to me so we can watch the other fights together because the fights will be amazing.”

Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil walks to the Octagon before his bantamweight fight against Rob Font during the UFC Fight Night event at Moody Center on December 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)
Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil walks to the Octagon before his bantamweight fight against Rob Font during the UFC Fight Night event at Moody Center on December 02, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

Figueiredo is a true family man, and he feels that he can’t lose with them in attendance at T-Mobile Arena. Just knowing they are there will charge him up to deliver his best against Garbrandt and move him to accomplish the dream of taking his family around the world.

“I’m here to fight for my family and I’m here to have a great fight and go back home to take care of my kids,” Figueiredo said. “I want to build something I’ve been planning for a long time, to leave Brazil and live abroad with them. I’m sure I ‘ll achieve it.”

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Figueiredo was confident in accepting this fight in 2020 at flyweight and he’ll be even more confident when he steps into the Octagon with Garbrandt at bantamweight. He believes his power and speed carried over and that he wasn’t undersized against a well-respected contender like Font.

“This is my division. It’s my time. I fought for so long in the flyweight division, and I couldn’t take it anymore,” Figueiredo said. “The time had come for me to move up and I’m feeling good. I got off to a great start and now let’s go to the next fight.”

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He feels like he’s going to be able to beat Garbrandt everywhere, but especially in the grappling game. That’s where he sees the biggest difference between their two skill sets, so much so that he predicts he will submit Garbrandt in the second round.

“Well, I think he’s a little scared. He saw my [bantamweight] debut so I can bring different paces to the fight, both in striking and grappling,” Figueiredo said. “I know he’s a good boxer and I like boxing; I like striking, as well. But our Fight IQ will play a role in this fight.”

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With a spectacular showing against Garbrandt, on the heels of an impressive win over Font, Figueiredo believes his status as a former champion, combined with wins over two big names, could put him in position to challenge UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley. He knows that beating Garbrandt is the priority, but he sees a bout with “Suga Sean” being a real possibility in 2024.

“I want a title fight. I deserve it. I moved up as a champion. I faced some problems in my fight [with Moreno] and I couldn’t keep it,” Figueiredo said. “But I moved up to bantamweight and I want a title fight.”

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UFC 300: Pereira vs Hill took place live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 13, 2024. See the final Prelim and Main Card Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass