Deiveson Figueiredo missed out on the opportunity of winning a UFC Championship belt despite winning the fight, but he is not bothered by the outcome.
The Brazilian was to go up against Joseph Benavidez in a fight over the vacant Flyweight title. But since he missed weight by 2.5 pounds at the official weigh-ins, only Benavidez was eligible to claim the belt upon victory. But things went differently and Figueiredo ended up finishing his opponent early in the second round of the bout.
In a post-fight interview with MMA Junkie, Figueiredo said why he remains unfazed by the turn of events that ripped him off his claim to the belt.
Deiveson Figueiredo: It doesn't matter... the belt is mine
Figueiredo said he felt like he owed a good fight to his fans and the audience because of the weight debacle, so he went ahead and did that. The fact that he does not own the belt at the end of it does not trouble him much.
"I am not sad at all. I'm very happy. I told you before in the pre-fight interview I was going to knock him out in the second round – and I did. I owe this for the people watching TV. I owe this for the people coming to the arena. Because I didn’t make the weight, I had to compromise and give a big statement for the people."
It is the nature of the victory that is probably giving Figueiredo satisfaction. After a back-and-forth first round, he was quick to finish the bout within two minutes of Round 2 with a brutal right hand that knocked Benavidez out flat.
The fact that missing the weight was an isolated incident was an isolated incident for him also gives him a reason to claim the belt in practicality, if not on paper. Figueiredo claims that he was cutting weight smoothly before he felt cramps on the day of weigh-ins and was instructed by his doctor to stop the process. He has never missed weight before.
He believes he deserves the actual title shot next where he can claim the belt for real, but for now, he is considering himself the UFC Flyweight Champ.
"It doesn't matter. Whoever the UFC puts me to fight, I'm going to fight. I just won my belt. The belt is mine. I just don't hold it. I proved that."
The fight took place on Saturday, February 29 at Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Virginia.Published 01 Mar 2020, 13:17 IST