The UFC’s flyweight division, once malignant for having fighters for little ones and attacks that were too boring, has been completely turned upside down by the man nicknamed “God of War”.
Deiveson Figueiredo completed Alex Perez via guillotine choke for 1 minute, 57 seconds of the first round Saturday night to retain the UFC flyweight title in the main event of UFC 255 in Las Vegas.
The incredibly fast, explosive Figueiredo found Perez’s neck in a fight, locked in the shocker and squeezing until Perez knocked out. It was Figueiredo’s first title defense.
“I came to the air force department to strike out and send everyone,”
In 2017 and 2018, it was whispered that the UFC could abolish the flyweight division. The UFC traded Demetrious Johnson, who many consider the greatest flyweight ever, to the 2018 ONE Championship, which apparently means the final days of the division.
But Figueiredo and his dynamic, all-action style have revived the 125-pound weight class.
“If you do not like this guy, stop watching fights,” said UFC President Dana White. “You have to find a new hobby if you do not like to see him.
“I am just glad we did not do that [get rid of flyweight]. The division needed a little bit of rebuilding. We rebuilt it and this is the result. “
White said at the post-match match that Figueiredo will not return to Brazil after this match and will instead stay in Las Vegas to defend his title again in December. The plan, White said, is to get Figueiredo to fight opponent Brandon Moreno, who beat Brandon Royval in the UFC 255 preparations.
Sources confirmed to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani early Sunday that Figueiredo and Moreno had verbally agreed to fight at UFC 256 on December 12.
Figueiredo asked for Moreno in his post-match interview.
“Dana, let this happen,” Figueiredo said. “That’s the fight I want to happen.”
Figueiredo vs. Perez was an absolute sprint. Perez landed a hard body kick and then shot in for a takedown on Figueiredo that defended well. Figueiredo tried to dive for a leg lock outside the penalty area. Perez encrypted out of trouble, but in the transition, Figueiredo grabbed a guillotine choker. It looked like Perez was close to slipping his head off, but then he had to tap.
“This position is my ‘ABC’ – I started training in that position,” Figueiredo said through an interpreter in his post-match interview. “That was the biggest mistake he could make, and it was the biggest mistake a man can make in the Octagon.”
Going in, ESPN had Figueiredo ranked No. 2 (behind Johnson) and Perez as No. 5 in the world with flight weight. ESPN also has Figueiredo ranked No. 8 in the world on its pound-for-pound rankings.
The UFC 255 card took place in front of no fans at UFC Apex, a facility across the street from the campaign’s corporate campus.
Figueiredo’s manager, Wallid Ismail, said at the post – match press conference that Figueiredo was “very disappointed” that he did not win a $ 50,000 Performance of the Night bonus on Saturday night. Ismail said Figueiredo was so upset that he wanted to return to Brazil, but that he has since calmed down and is likely to stay to fight Moreno.
“I think we’ll stay here,” Ismail said. “We’m fighting for the card on December 12 and putting on a new show.”
Figueiredo (20-1) beat Joseph Benavidez via first-round submission in July to win the flyweight title. It was his second win in a row over Benavidez, but the title was not on the field in February because Figueiredo lost weight.
Figueiredo, 32, has won five straight fights and is 9-1 in the UFC. The Brazilian slugger has 17 stops in 20 pro wins, removing the notion that flight weights do not end fights. This was Figueiredo’s seventh UFC flyweight finish that binds Johnson for the most time ever.
Perez (24-6) had won three stretches and 11 of his previous 12. California was filling in Saturday for the injured Cody Garbrandt, the former bantamweight champion who was to fly to flyweight and challenge Figueiredo at UFC 255.
Perez, 28, came out of a first-round TKO by Jussier Formiga via leg kick at UFC 250 in June.