Monday, August 15, 2022

Pantoja Roasts ‘Fake, Fat Clown’ Figueiredo, Questions Motivation

UFC flyweight contender Alexandre Pantoja isn’t happy with how fellow Brazilian, Deiveson Figueiredo, has handled the champion limelight.

Pantoja surged into the flyweight title picture with a first-round finish of Alex Perez on the UFC 277 main card. Just 1:31 into the fight, Pantoja got Perez’s back following a wild exchange on the feet and sunk in a rear-naked choke submission for the win.

Pantoja, a winner of three in a row, was fired up during his Octagon interview with Joe Rogan. He called for a title shot soon, and his energy carried over to his post-fight press conference.

Pantoja and Figueiredo battled earlier in their respective careers at UFC 240, with Figueiredo earning a unanimous decision win. Figueiredo ended up winning the then-vacant flyweight belt two fights later against Joseph Benavidez.

Pantoja, and other flyweight contenders such as interim flyweight champion Brandon Moreno, have shared their displeasure with how Figueiredo has handled himself in and out of the cage. Figueiredo has also had a history of weight-cutting issues when it comes to making championship weight.

Pantoja has watched how Figueiredo has handled himself since their first matchup, and he wants to make him pay in the potential future rematch.

Alexandre Pantoja Isn’t A Fan Of Deiveson Figueiredo’s ‘Fake’ Persona

© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports © Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

During his UFC 277 post-fight press conference, Pantoja harshly criticized the flyweight champion.

“He looks so fat,” Pantoja said. “Maybe he needs to find some place to train better…I like Deiveson, he’s a very tough opponent, he’s a champion and a dangerous guy. But, I don’t know if too much lights for Deiveson, maybe he’s confused now. Maybe he needs to find a reason for a fight. He comes in walking around with these fancy clothes, that’s like a clown. I don’t like this shit. He’s not like that, like a fake person. In the cage, he’s a great opponent, a tough guy, and I hope I can fight him soon.”

Figueiredo is expected to face Moreno next in the fourth fight of their rivalry. He regained the title by outlasting Moreno in a division at UFC 270 back in January after losing to him at UFC 263.

After losses to Askar Askarov and Figueiredo, Pantoja has bounced back in a big way with recent victories over Brandon Royval and Manel Cape. He could potentially be next in line for the title if the Figueiredo/Moreno tetralogy doesn’t come to fruition.

Brazilian fighters such as Pantoja and Figueiredo take a lot of pride in their work in and out of the Octagon, and Pantoja feels that Figueiredo is doing a disservice to the sport with his recent antics.

How do you think an Alexandre Pantoja vs. Deiveson Figueiredo fight would play out?

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