Figueiredo is undoubtedly one of the most dominant champions in the UFC, but it remains to be seen if he can surpass Demetrious Johnson as the greatest flyweight in UFC history. He has still got some way to go to achieve that, but it’s definitely possible for him to do so in the future.
On that note, here are three things Deiveson Figueiredo could do to surpass Demetrious Johnson as the UFC’s flyweight GOAT.
#1 Deiveson Figueredo needs to continue finishing his opponents
Given that he was able to finish seven of his opponents in the UFC flyweight division, it seems bizarre to remember that Demetrious Johnson was often labelled a dull fighter. But that was certainly the criticism thrown at Mighty Mouse during his reign as the UFC flyweight champion.
Johnson was always a virtuoso fighter. But despite his finishes, his style inside the octagon – heavy on takedowns and point-fighting striking – meant he wasn’t always a fan favourite amongst the UFC faithful.
Deiveson Figueiredo, on the other hand, is already gaining a reputation as a fan favourite, thanks to his wild style in the octagon. The God of War has finished seven of his flyweight opponents in the UFC. While Johnson took 14 fights to reach that total, Figueiredo has already done so in three fewer appearances.
More to the point, Figueiredo has also finished three of his opponents in the first round. Johnson only achieved that feat on two occasions and went the distance with Tim Elliott, who Figueiredo dispatched in just three minutes.
Considering the same, Figueiredo could end up supplanting Johnson as the UFC’s flyweight GOAT is if he can continue to finish off his opponents.
It’s arguable that the Brazilian already has a reputation for more exciting fights than Johnson has ever had. But getting his opponents out of the octagon before the final buzzer would definitely cement that.
#2 Deiveson Figueiredo needs to defend his UFC flyweight title on more than 11 occasions
Despite his reputation at times as a dull fighter, Demetrious Johnson will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest UFC champions of all time. That’s because Mighty Mouse was somehow able to hold onto his UFC flyweight title for a total of six years, making 11 successful title defences in the process.
No other UFC fighter – not even Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones or Anderson Silva – can boast a comparable record when it comes to consecutive UFC title defences.
While Johnson’s detractors would’ve suggested that many of those defences came against less-than-stellar opponents, a fighter can only overcome the foe in front of them.
Naturally then, one way that Deiveson Figueiredo could cement himself as the UFC’s flyweight GOAT ahead of Johnson would be to break the latter's record and defend his UFC flyweight crown on more than 11 occasions.
Could such a feat be possible? It certainly won't be easy, particularly given that the God of War is already 33 – seven years older than Johnson was when his title reign began.
But then again, at the rate Deiveson Figueiredo is fighting at, breaking that record isn’t out of the realm of possibility. After all, the Brazilian fought on four occasions in 2020 and already has already had two successful defences to his name in less than a year as a champion.
Whether Figueiredo can hold onto his title for as long as Johnson and whether he can put together as many title defences remain a question mark, though. But if he even comes close to that total, there’ll be an argument that he’s the UFC’s flyweight GOAT.
#3 Deiveson Figueiredo needs to entice Henry Cejudo back into the UFC for a fight and beat him
The unfortunate thing about Deiveson Figueiredo’s reign as UFC flyweight champion is that he didn’t beat the man to hold the title before him – former UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo.
Cejudo famously unseated Demetrious Johnson at UFC 227 to claim the UFC flyweight title in what turned out to be Johnson’s final fight inside the octagon. But after defeating TJ Dillashaw in his first title defence, Triple C then moved up to 135 lbs and beat Marlon Moraes for the UFC bantamweight title, becoming one of the UFC’s only simultaneous double champion in the process.
Cejudo would never defend his UFC flyweight crown again, instead relinquishing it in early 2020 before retiring a few months later. And that means while a few fans have spoken about a fight between the two, Deiveson Figueiredo almost certainly has unfinished business with the man who he never beat to claim his title.
After a year on the shelf, Cejudo has never really confirmed that there’s no way he’ll be back in the UFC. So it remains to be seen if Deiveson Figueiredo somehow finds a way to tempt Cejudo back into the octagon. That could happen if the Brazilian continues to dominate his opponents at 125 lbs.
If Cejudo returns and Deiveson Figueiredo beats him, beating the man who unseated Mighty Mouse, it’d be difficult not to see the God of War as the UFC’s flyweight GOAT.
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