What does it take to develop into a star in MMA?
Nicely, for starters, it’s important to win fights. Clearly. However, as everyone knows, that is not sufficient.
You need to end fights. Little question about it.
You need to be well-rounded. For positive.
You need to be flashy. That all the time helps.
And also you most actually should be a showman. Completely.
Deiveson Figueiredo has all of it. He’s a star within the making. He’s the fighter the male flyweight division has been ready for, and he’s the following Brazilian star the UFC has been craving.
On Saturday, in his first title protection, Figueiredo capped off one of the best yr of his profession with a phenomenal win over Alex Perez. The supremely robust and fast Brazilian pulled off a beaut of a guillotine in below two minutes.
This was the sort of exhibiting Figueiredo wanted in his first pay-per-view predominant occasion, which simply so occurred to coincide together with his first journey to Las Vegas. Think about that.
It was additionally the efficiency the UFC wanted to justify not solely the choice to place Figueiredo in the principle occasion, however to additionally stay within the males’s flyweight enterprise.
It wasn’t that way back that the entire division appeared to be on life support. Heck, some even believed Figueiredo lacking weight earlier this yr previous to the vacant title struggle towards Joseph Benavidez would show to be the ultimate nail within the division’s coffin. Some believed the UFC would lastly shut the division down after he beat Benavidez, however could not win the title as a consequence of the truth that he missed weight. Actually, it appeared like the proper excuse to chop bait.
Thank heavens they determined towards that.
I might wish to assume that regardless of that blunder on the size the UFC brass noticed one thing in Figueiredo throughout that first struggle towards Benavidez. I imply, who would not be intrigued by a former hair stylist/sushi chef/fisherman/brick layer/security guard/taxi driver turned high-level fighter. Add his 85 p.c ending charge, his impeccable fashion and his cool hair, Figueiredo is simply what the physician ordered for 125.
And whereas I am showering Figueiredo with reward, how about the truth that he, as champion, referred to as out his subsequent foe within the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan? That not often occurs.
As a substitute of concentrating on the sexier identify, Cody Garbrandt, the champ referred to as out a real flyweight, Brandon Moreno, who simply so occurred to select up a giant win Saturday as effectively, and is unbeaten in his final 5 fights.
Take a look at that. An thrilling, combating 125-pound champion calling out a fellow flyweight, who picked up a giant win within the coveted featured prelim of a pay-per-view occasion headlined by a male flyweight title struggle, which had not headlined a UFC pay-per-view in over 5 years.
In a yr full of one unusual incidence after the following, this feels becoming. It is also extraordinarily refreshing.
Now not is each flyweight struggle a referendum on the division and weight class. Now not are we speaking about whether or not the division will stop to exist in a month or so.
No, now we’re simply all trying ahead to Figueiredo’s subsequent struggle. His subsequent protection. His subsequent outfit. His subsequent end. And, based on UFC president Dana White, we might even see him again in motion as quickly as subsequent month. White mentioned the plan is to keep Figueiredo in Vegas and have him face Moreno. That is an ideal thought. Strike whereas the iron is scorching.
This can be a victory for the vocal minority who pleaded for the promotion to not surrender on the little guys. As a result of the UFC’s latest Brazilian champion, who simply may find yourself being its 2020 male fighter of the yr, too, can be on the verge of changing into its subsequent star.