In 2020, Figueiredo ascended the flyweight mountaintop and looked set for a long reign on the throne. “Deus Da Guerra” brutally finished Joseph Benavidez twice to win gold. The second win was required after the Brazilian missed weight the first time, leaving the title vacant until the summer rematch.
After comfortably defending his title against Alex Perez, Figueiredo established himself as one of the most dominant and imposing champions in the UFC. But then came Moreno. In their December 2020 Fight of the Year contender, the Mexican fought to a draw, securing a second opportunity in mid-2021.
At UFC 263 last June, Moreno dominated Figueiredo and choked him out in the third round. The heart-warming crowning saw “The Assassin Baby” become the first Mexican-born fighter to earn champion status in the UFC.
Moreno was initially primed to defend his belt for the first time against former rival Alexandre Pantoja. However, when the #3-ranked contender wasn’t ready for December, the initial targeted date, Figueiredo secured his much-desired shot at redemption. The pair will meet again later this month in the UFC 270 co-main event.
Figueiredo Promises The Return Of A “Killer” At UFC 270
Given the emphatic nature of his defeat to Moreno last year, Figueiredo should perhaps feel fortunate to find himself in a position to challenge for the belt immediately. Many, including the champ, believed he needed to register a victory over another top contender before jumping back to the front of the queue.
Nevertheless, with his chance for revenge secured, Figueiredo intends on taking full advantage. During an interview with The Schmo, the Brazilian claimed he’ll take Moreno’s head off when they meet on January 22.
“You know, my second fight (with Moreno) I was not good. I did not feel good. But now, with new training, I’m gonna be great,” Figueiredo said via translator Wallid Ismail. “I’m gonna take Brandon Moreno’s head off. This fight is going to be a wonderful fight. I’m very motivated… It’s gonna be the revenge, it’s gonna be big revenge… I’m gonna take his head off and I’m gonna make him pay.”
Discussing how the trilogy contest will differ from the 2021 rematch, Figueiredo suggested Moreno makes a lot of mistakes, something he believes he’s been able to identify during his time at Fight Ready with Henry Cejudo.
That, coupled with better preparation and his belief that the weight cut will go a lot smoother, makes “Deus Da Guerra” confident he’ll leave California’s Honda Center with gold around his waist again.
“Brandon Moreno does a lot of mistakes… this fight’s gonna be completely different. Because now (I have) more time to train, to lose the weight in the right way… This is going to be historic because this is going to be the revenge…
“I’m going to fight in California, It’s going to be a different place. I’m very confident the people of California are gonna like me because they like my style. I’m a killer. I go there to take Brandon Moreno’s head.”
While Moreno and Figueiredo will complete their trilogy in the UFC 270 co-main event, the headliner will see another blockbuster clash. In a heavyweight unification bout, champion Francis Ngannou will face interim titleholder and former teammate Ciryl Gane.
There aren’t many better matchups to set the stage for a main event like that than an animosity-filled trilogy bout…
Who do you think will have their hand raised at UFC 270, Deiveson Figueiredo or Brandon Moreno?