When UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo steps inside the Octagon at UFC 256 against Brandon Moreno, he will have the chance to win four straight main event fights this year.
2020 has been the best year of Figueiredo’s life. He won the flyweight crown at UFC Fight Island 2 in July by beating Joseph Benavidez via first round submission. In November, the Brazilian successfully defended his title against Alex Perez at UFC 255 with another first round submission. He will defend his title for a second time in three weeks this weekend when he faces a tough challenge in Moreno.
“Only Time Will Tell”
Given that he beats Moreno, UFC president Dana White said it will be hard for Figueiredo to not be Fighter of the Year 2020. But according to MMA Junkie, former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson believes he is still not sure if the hype is real yet.
“Only time will tell if the hype is real,” Johnson said of Figueiredo. “Do I think he’s a good athlete? 1,000 percent. But I need to see him fight more different styles and different athletes and the caliber of different guys. Then that’s when he’ll live up to the hype. A guy like Jon Jones, he’s beat f***ing everybody, even on cocaine and testing positive and whatever. He still beat you.”
Fighting Game Opponents
In order to prove his greatness to Johnson, Figueiredo would have to beat “game” opponents, such as the former flyweight and bantamweight champion, Henry Cejudo.
“I would like to see him fight a Henry Cejudo or see him fight someone who is game and is able to win,” Johnson said. “Alex Perez got caught in that choke, he just stood up. He should’ve hand fight, do the correct things to get out of it. That’s the thing, only time will tell. Only time’s going to tell. When I fought Joseph Benavidez the first time, I beat him up. Then we fought the second time and I knocked him out.”
Cejudo retired after defending his UFC bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249, although he has teased of a return to the Octagon for the right price.
Figueiredo Is Well-Rounded
While Johnson believes Figueiredo still has a lot to prove as a champion, he does not shy away from giving ‘Deus da Guerra’ credit where it is due.
“Deiveson Figueiredo is a great athlete, he hits hard, has a good chin and he’s well rounded. People who usually hit hard can’t really grapple, but he can do it all.”
How do think a flyweight matchup between Deiveson Figueiredo and Henry Cejudo would play out?