UFC president Dana White was impressed by the performance of Deiveson Figueiredo who captured the vacant flyweight title by choking out Joseph Benavidez in the first round of their rematch last night. Figueiredo knocked out Benavidez earlier this year but the win came in controversial circumstances, hence this immediate rematch.
“Pure violence. No controversy in this one. We have pretty nasty champions in those two divisions now.”
Earlier this year the future of the UFC flyweight division seemed to be in doubt. The promotion cut half its roster and all signs pointed to the 125lb division being axed. White went on record after UFC Fight Island 2 to say the division is here to stay.
Flyweights Are Going Nowhere
“When was the last time I talked about getting rid of the (flyweight) division?” White said. “Yeah, it’s here. Look at how good this guy looked tonight. Look what he did. (There was) a ton of controversy in the first fight from weight to headbutts. (There was) no controversy in this one. The guy came in and did what he said he was going to do against the No. 2 ranked guy in the world and he looked damn good doing it.
On last nights undercard we seemed to see the next flyweight contender emerge. Askar Askarov picked up a unaminous decision win over Alexandre Pantoja, a fighter who was serving as a backup if either Figueiredo or Benavidez pulled out or failed to make weight. White refused to commit on who will be first in line for a shot at the new champion, he said.
“When I get home, we’ll figure that stuff out.”
Figueiredo has spoken about his desire to step up to bantamweight and become a two-weight world champion. White is happy for him to do that but would like to see him defend the 125lb belt at least a couple of times before he gets that shot.
“I’d like to see him defend his title a couple times,” White said. “Maybe if he defends the title a couple of times, that’ll be interesting, yeah.”
Are you happy Dana White is longer thinking of cutting the flyweight division?