Flyweight contender Deiveson Figueiredo does not want to sit around and wait, should double-champ Henry Cejudo decide to defend his bantamweight title instead of the flyweight belt. Matched up against Tim Elliot for a preliminary bout at UFC Tampa, ‘Daico’ believes the time has come for the UFC to create another interim belt in the meantime.
In an interview with Combate, Figueiredo says the solution is the only way to not halt the division. Especially since there is another clear contender for the title: Joseph Benavidez. As far as he’s concerned, a bout for the winner of his fight with Elliott seems like a natural solution.
“You have to keep the division going. What Cejudo is doing is delaying everyone else’s lives—like mine and Benavidez’s. If he is going to defend his belt, then he better do it soon, and stop stalling. If he’s going to stall, then let there be an interim belt. Let Benavidez fight whoever wins this fight on Saturday. I think that’s what needs to happen.”
Figueiredo is looking to begin a new win streak after besting Alexandre Pantoja in his last fight. The Brazilian believes Elliott will put aside his tendency for wild exchanges and look for a more cautious approach against a heavy-handed flyweight such as Daico. However, Deiveson, believes Tim won’t find success in that strategy, and claims to be ready for both a ground or a standing battle.
“By watching his fights, you can tell that he likes to strike in the first round. But I don’t think he’ll try that against me, because he knows he will be at a great risk if he does that against me. He’ll try to make it a boring fight, he’ll try to smother me on the ground. But that won’t happen. Today, I feel more seasoned in the UFC. I know he’s seasoned, too, but I’m ready for him. I’m ready to implement my gameplan. If he tries to strike with me, I’ll knock him out. If he takes me down, I have traps that can finish the fight.”
Before his July unanimous decision win over Alexandre Pantoja, Deiveson Figueiredo (16-1) suffered his first ever professional loss—an unanimous decision defeat to Jussier Formiga back in March. That defeat snapped a four-fight winning streak in the Octagon for the 31-year-old.
Now, Deiveson Figueiredo is expected to take on Tim Elliott at UFC Fight Night 161, in Tampa, Florida, on October 12. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a female strawweight bout between former champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and contender Michelle Waterson.