Somewhat buried on a card featuring lightweight standouts, former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo made a splash in his bantamweight debut. He faced a tall order in Rob Font, both literally and figuratively. Having come off a disappointing loss in the epic quadrilogy against Brandon Moreno, Figueiredo had many questions to answer.
Image – DAZN
Many fans wondered whether Figueiredo would eventually make this move, given his struggles to cut to 125 pounds. However, the UFC’s bantamweight division is one of if not the most talent rich divisions in the promotion. In addition, many of the top fighters cut significant weight themselves. Fighters such as Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley would likely enjoy a notable size and frame advantage against Figueiredo. Rob Font similarly posed a significant danger to Deiveson. Coming off of a stoppage loss, many wondered whether Figueiredo could endure the powerful punches from Font. Conversely, despite his short notice loss to Cory Sandhagen, Rob Font had recently finished Adrian Yanez in devastating fashion. Furthermore, despite Deiveson’s grappling skills, it was highly unclear whether he possessed enough strength to take down Font.
In the fight itself, however, Deiveson quickly reminded viewers of his championship caliber. He looked sharp and accurate on the feet, hurting Font with his signature power. He also landed some very crafty single leg takedowns, and controlled Font later in the fight. Font managed to stay in the fight and land some shots of his own. These also demonstrated that Figueiredo’s chin is far from done, and perhaps even refreshed from cutting less weight. Figueiredo won all three rounds on the judges’ scorecards, a feat that few in the division can lay claim to against Font.
Figueiredo v Font, image – MMA Mania
Given his flyweight title reign, many will likely wonder whether he can capture another title at bantamweight. Despite his impressive debut, the odds are stacked against him. For as good as he looked, he’ll want to clean up some weaknesses moving forward. Figueiredo still has defensive lapses at times, and often relies on single shots rather than combinations. It is also unclear if he can impose his grappling upon fighters such as Merab Dvalishvili or Umar Nurmagomedov. Moreover, at 35 years of age, his physical prime may be running out—particularly at bantamweight, where speed is pivotal. However, he has the skills and determination to pose a challenge to anyone in the division. He showed that his fearsome power translates to this new division, which itself makes him threatening.
A potential matchup between Deiveson and another former champion in Dominick Cruz could prove interesting for both fighters. It would be both a clash of styles and a battle of legends. A win there would also give Figueiredo a chance to quickly enter title contention.