The first attempted flyweight title defence of champion, Deiveson Figueiredo has fallen to the wayside.
The Brazilian submission and knockout threat was slated to headline UFC 255 opposite divisional newcomer, one-time bantamweight world champion, Cody Garbrandt, however that pairing is now off the cards.
Suffering a torn bicep on Monday, Mark Henry mover, Garbrandt is out of the event’s curtain-closer – with the organization now attempting to link Figueiredo with streaking contender, Alex Perez for the November pay-per-view. News of Garbrandt’s removal and the promotion’s plans to slot Perez in his place was initially reported by Combate reporters, Marcelo Barone and Raphael Marinho.
Scoring the vacant flyweight throne at the second time of asking, Figueiredo managed a first-round rear-naked choke win over multiple time championship challenger, Joseph Benavidez in July at a UFC Fight Night event on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Figueiredo had secured a knockout win over Texas native, Benavidez in March at UFC Fight Night Norfolk – but tipped the flyweight scales before the pairing, leaving him ineligible to claim the championship with a win.
Ohio born knockout ace, Garbrandt displayed a much more patient and composed gameplan opposite Raphael Assuncao at UFC 250 in June to score a Knockout of the Year shoo-in with a klaxon besing second-round overhand. Prior to the win, Garbrandt had dropped three consecutive defeats via strikes against Pedro Munhoz, and former Team Alpha MMA teammate, T.J. Dillashaw (x2).
For 29-year-old California born all-rounder, Perez – the streaking Colin Oyama student has won three on the trot. Rounding off his winning run, the Dana White’s Contenders Series product scored a highlight first-round leg kick finish of perennial flyweight challenger, Jussier Formiga also at the above noted UFC 250 event.
With the promotion’s plans to keep Figueiredo on the card opposite Perez, the pairing looks to round off a night of flyweight championship callings, as 125-pound queen, Valentina Shevchenko attempts to continue her dominant reign as she welcomes Figueiredo’s compatriot, former Invicta FC best, Jennifer Maia in the night’s co-headliner.