Ahead of his UFC 255 headliner with former UFC bantamweight champion, Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt – defending flyweight titleholder, Deiveson ‘Daico’ Figueiredo has spoken of his intentions to target the “fragile” chin and head of the division newcomer on November 21.
Para native, Figueiredo finally claimed the vacant flyweight crown at the second time of trying on ‘Fight Island’ in July – scoring a second consecutive finish of multiple-time title challenger, Joseph Benavidez. Dropping the Texan on three separate occasions, Figueiredo would go on to finish the former WEC contender with a rear-naked choke in the opening round.
The 32-year-old knockout artist and submission threat is scheduled for his first attempted title defence in November – when he tackles the aforenoted former titleholder, Garbrandt in a main event tie. Ahead of the matchup, Figueiredo spoke with Brazilian outlet, Ag Fight – where he told of his tactics which would see him retain flyweight gold.
“(I will take advantage of) His chin, his head,” Figueiredo stated. “Those are fragile spots. I’ve seen him take shots and get rocked. Those are two weak spots to exploit. If he comes at me, you better believe there’ll be a bonus coming. It’s going to be an insane fight. I don’t walk back. I feel more well-rounded. He has boxing and wrestling. I have my boxing, my marajoara fighting and [Brazilian] Jiu-Jitsu to submit him if he makes a mistake.“
Now under the tutelage of Mark Henry in New Jersey, explosive striker, Garbrandt returned to the win column at UFC 250 in June – scoring a highlight-reel Knockout of the Year contender with a buzzer-beating overhand right against Figueiredo’s compatriot, Raphael Assunção.
Prior to the victory, Garbrandt had dropped three consecutive knockout losses, opposite Pedro Munhoz, and a pair of defeats against former Team Alpha MMA training partner and two-time bantamweight best, T.J. Dillashaw.
Figueiredo, who sits atop the 125-pound pile, also spoke of his dislike toward the fact Garbrandt has “cut the line” to a title shot, ahead of other contenders, Brandon Moreno, Alex Perez, and Askar Askarov.
“I didn’t think it was right for him to cut the line, but the UFC calls the shots,” Figueiredo said. “We work for them and we have to accept whoever they want us to fight so we can put on a show for the fans. There was a negotiation between them and mt manager, Wallid Ismail. He talked to the UFC so I could have a bigger purse against (Cody) Garbrandt. We got a proper figure. Now, I’m training hard to show you should not cut the line to get to the belt at flyweight.” (H/T Bloody Elbow)
With his two aforenoted wins over veteran all-rounder, Benavidez – Figueiredo added to a winning run which includes wins over Tim Elliott and fellow Brazilian, Alexandre Pantoja.