Deiveson Figueiredo is about to embark on a new chapter of his Ultimate Fighting Championship journey. This two-time titleholder at 125 pounds is making a move. The 35-year-old Brazilian fighter is stepping up to the bantamweight division.
His first opponent in this new weight class? Rob Font. This bout is set to be a featured attraction at UFC on ESPN 52, taking place this Saturday at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. Figueiredo has made it clear that this isn’t a temporary move. He’s not planning on returning to the weight class he once ruled.
“I moved up to 135 pounds permanently,” Figueiredo confirmed in an interview with Sherdog.com. His first test in the bantamweight division is expected to be a challenging one. Font, a perennial Top 15 contender, is no pushover.
“He’s dangerous and can’t be underestimated,” Figueiredo admitted. “It’s not by accident that he’s ranked. This is an excellent fight for me.” Both fighters are known for their striking abilities, promising an exciting show for the fans. “It will be a dangerous bout,” Figueiredo added. “He knows I was dangerous as a flyweight. It’s going to be an enjoyable fight for everyone watching.”
This move marks a significant shift in Figueiredo’s career. He spent over two years in a four-fight series with his archnemesis, Brandon Moreno. Their rivalry concluded in January, with Moreno forcing a third-round doctor stoppage against Figueiredo at UFC 283. The Brazilian fighter’s record in this historic tetralogy was 1-2-1.
“It was an experience in which both of us grew by leaps and bounds,” Figueiredo reflected. “It greatly contributed to our games, our evolution. With each fight, we were compelled to get better. We knew we’d be bringing a war inside the Octagon for our fans. It’s part of history.”
Figueiredo believes that moving up in weight will be beneficial for him. “That’s why I decided to move up and carve my path anew in this weight class,” he explained. And he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a future rematch with Moreno. “Who knows? Moreno could move up one day, too, and we could clash again. We have a beautiful history together. I wish him success.”
In preparation for his upcoming fight with Font, Figueiredo relocated his training to the United States. He’s been working with former two-division UFC champion and Olympic gold medalist, Henry Cejudo. The transition appears to have been a positive one.
“He’s intelligent and knows how to shut down his opponents,” Figueiredo said of Cejudo. “I learned much from him in getting ready for Rob. We found holes in Rob’s game which we can exploit, and since Rob is strong in boxing, I’m also putting emphasis on that. I’m confident that I’ll be successful with our strategy.”
As Figueiredo nears his 36th birthday in December, he’s looking to make his mark as an elite bantamweight. He’s fully aware of the transient nature of his profession. “As I get older, I want to spend more time with my family, but before I retire, I want to give my best in this new weight class,” he shared.
Figueiredo is determined to leave a legacy. “I want fans to look back one day and see all my accomplishments inside the organization. They’re the fruit of all the hard work I’ve put in,” he said. He has a clear goal in mind: to retire in the UFC. “They’ve changed my life. Through them, I’ve been able to help out my family and young aspiring fighters. I’d like to keep fighting for at least three years. I love what I do.”