The UFC’s flyweight division, as soon as maligned for having fighters too small and bouts that had been too boring, has been fully turned on its head by the person nicknamed “God of Struggle.”
Deiveson Figueiredo completed Alex Perez by way of guillotine choke at 1:57 of the primary spherical Saturday night time to retain the UFC flyweight title in the principle occasion of UFC 255 in Las Vegas.
The extremely quick, explosive Figueiredo discovered Perez’s neck in a scramble, locked within the choke and squeezed till Perez tapped out. It was Figueiredo’s first title protection.
In 2017 and 2018, there have been whispers that the UFC may abolish the flyweight division. The UFC traded Demetrious Johnson, the best flyweight of all time, to Asia’s ONE Championship in 2018, seemingly signifying the ultimate days of the division. However Figueiredo and his dynamic, all-action model has reinvigorated the 125-pound weight class.
Figueiredo vs. Perez was an absolute dash. Perez landed a tough physique kick after which shot in for a takedown on Figueiredo, who defended nicely. Figueiredo tried to dive for a leg lock off the takedown try. Perez scrambled out of bother, however within the transition Figueiredo latched onto a guillotine choke. It appeared like Perez was near slipping his head out, however then needed to faucet.
“That place is my ‘ABC’ — I began coaching in that place,” Figueiredo mentioned by way of an interpreter in his postfight interview. “That was the most important mistake he may do and that was the most important mistake a person could make within the Octagon.”
Coming in, ESPN had Figueiredo ranked No. 2 (behind Johnson) and Perez at No. 5 on this planet at flyweight. ESPN additionally has ranked Figueiredo ranked No. 8 on this planet in its pound-for-pound rankings.
After the victory, Figueiredo implored UFC president Dana White to make his subsequent title protection in opposition to prime contender Brandon Moreno, who beat Brandon Royval within the UFC 255 prelims.
“I need to face Brandon Moreno,” Figueiredo mentioned. “Dana, make this occur. That is the struggle that I need to occur.”
The UFC 255 card befell in entrance of no followers on the UFC Apex, a facility throughout the road from the promotion’s company campus.
Figueiredo (20-1) beat Joseph Benavidez by way of first-round submission in July to win the flyweight title. It was his second straight win over Benavidez, however the title was not on the road again in February as a result of Figueiredo missed weight.
Figueiredo, 32, has received 5 straight fights and is 9-1 within the UFC. The Brazilian slugger has 17 stoppages in 20 professional wins, flipping the notion that flyweights do not end fights on its head. This was Figueiredo’s seventh UFC flyweight end, which ties Johnson for essentially the most ever.
Perez (24-6) had received three straight and 11 of his previous 12 coming in. The California native was filling in Saturday for the injured Cody Garbrandt, the previous bantamweight champion who was supposed to maneuver to flyweight and problem Figueiredo at UFC 255.
Perez, 28, was coming off a first-round TKO of Jussier Formiga by way of leg kicks at UFC 250 in June.