Days after UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo lamented not being valued by the UFC and requested PPV points, it appears he will get his wish.
“Ask and you shall receive” is a trite expression, but it looks like it applies quite well to one Deiveson Figueiredo. Last week, Figueiredo complained about not being properly valued by the UFC, particularly after putting on a great showing for the fans at UFC 256 in one of the best fights of the year against Brandon Moreno. Figueiredo’s solution for this lack of appreciation was for him to receive pay-per-view points.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Figueiredo’s manager Wallid Ismail basked in the afterglow of getting what he and his client asked for while reminiscing on the journey it took to arrive at this point.
“I remember as it was today,” Ismail said. “I told [UFC matchmaker] Mick Maynard, ‘This guy will bring back the power to the flyweight division. He fights to kill his opponents, not to score points.’ And he trusted us and kept the division. Deiveson started to put on a show, and this last fight was his coronation.
“The guy was sick and still fought so the pay-per-view wouldn’t lose its main event. It was a draw, but saw it as a win for us, and now they said he deserves the pay-per-view [points].”
Deiveson Figueiredo A Model For Other Smaller Fighters?
Wallid Ismail believes there is a lesson to be learned here for UFC fighters and one that he has often bestowed upon his clients: being talented is one thing but generating revenue is paramount.
“The UFC really values a complete athlete, one that sells. You can’t be good but not sell,” Ismail said. “That’s why selling matters so much. That’s what I always tell my athletes.
“People have to understand that MMA is a business,” Ismail continued. “I have a great relationship with the UFC because I understand their side. If an athlete doesn’t sell…They didn’t have lighter fighters headlining pay-per-views before, they would go to Fight Nights because they didn’t sell.”
Ismail believes that Figueiredo has put to bed the narrative that lighter fighters cannot put on a show or sell and that it is for this reason that the UFC has decided to compensate his client accordingly.
It should be noted that as of this writing, there have been no reported estimates for how well UFC 255 or UFC 256 sold. These final two pay per views of 2020 were both headlined by Deiveson Figueiredo. If/when these numbers become public, it will either greatly buoy Ismail’s claim of Figueiredo’s value or it will be further evidence for longtime detractors who believe the flyweight division does not draw, dating back to the days of the great Demetrious Johnson.
Do you believe Deiveson Figueiredo is a big draw right now?