Deiveson Figueiredo has made it clear that he does not want an interim title made.
With Deiveson Figueiredo holding the UFC flyweight belt once again, the question remains, who will he face next? There have been reports of a fourth fight between the champion and the man whom he defeated to regain this belt, Brandon Moreno. However, Figueiredo is recovering from an injury and could be out of competition for a while.
When any champion is sidelined for a significant amount of time, talks of an interim title inevitably come up in conversations. Figueiredo is relatively newly crowned as the champion again, and he is not too keen on the idea of creating an interim belt at this time.
“It would be pretty messed on the UFC’s part (to create an interim belt),” Figueiredo told AG Fight via BloodyElbow. “I can’t fight for the belt and then they create another one? That way I’ll know they really don’t want me as the champion. I’ll have to rip off the head of whoever has that interim belt.
“It took them over four months to create an interim title for Ngannou. I’ve just completed two months with mine. There’s no way they’ll make an interim belt. I’m not opposed to fighting, but I have to be 100% and the money has to be good. I need to value myself. I do what they like, I give them a show and I’ll charge that value as an athlete who sells fights.”
In recent years, the UFC has been using the interim titles as a way to keep a division moving. At first, it was only once in a while if a champion was going to be out for a long time. But more recently, the interim title is being used more frequently and in some cases, just a few months after a champion is crowned. Figueiredo has a timeline for return and doesn’t see the need for the UFC to go the interim route.
“I’m injured,” Figueiredo said. “It’s an injury that didn’t let me train properly. I can barely make a fist. I’m going through physical therapy to deal with that, it’s a tear in the cartilage. My finger is crooked. My other hand is also injured. I can’t punch pads properly. These are fighting injuries and they want me to fight again so soon? I’m not a machine. I’m 34 and I need to take care of my body. We can book a fight for October or November. I want to be 100% for a fight.”
The rumored fourth consecutive fight between Figueiredo and Moreno was being looked at for July. An interim belt would be a way for other fighters to finally get a shot at the title that has been exclusively offered to Figueiredo and Moreno for the past two years.
Do you think the UFC will create an interim belt if Figueiredo is out until the fall?