Alexandre Pantoja called for a rematch against UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo following his win over Manel Kape at UFC Vegas 18.
Pantoja won a hard-fought unanimous decision over Kape in a closely-contested flyweight bout on the UFC Vegas 18 main card. It was a big win for Pantoja, who improved to 7-3 overall in the UFC by taking out the former RIZIN champ Kape. Pantoja was already the No. 5 ranked flyweight coming into the bout and figures to remain there following this win. Entrenched as one of the top contenders at 125lbs, Pantoja is aiming for the top prize, and that’s a rematch with the champion Figueiredo.
These two rivals met back in July 2019 at UFC 240 and fought valiantly for 15 minutes in an all-out war that won “Fight of the Night.” Figueiredo edged out a close decision in that fight and later went on to become the UFC flyweight champion. Though the champ will next take on Brandon Moreno in a rematch in April or May, Pantoja is hoping for a rematch of his own. Speaking to the media following his victory at UFC Vegas 18, Pantoja called out the champ and explained what will change this time around.
“All the time I’m fighting with Manel, I’m thinking of Deiveson Figueiredo. If I want the fight with Figueiredo, I need to (beat) that guy. And that’s it. I (beat) that guy, now I want Figueiredo,” Pantoja said.
“The first fight with Figueiredo (at UFC 240), he came to me and said, ‘Let’s go and make a bulldog fight, a street fight.’ Let’s go, I want to fight, and make my best. I can strike with everyone. In the first round, he took me down. Come on. You want to fight? Why this? He played with me, you know. And I won’t make mistakes again. I’m ready for Deiveson now.”
Pantoja is 2-1 since his first encounter with Figueiredo, beating Kape and knocking out Matt Schnell, with a close decision loss to Askar Askarov mixed in. He likely needs one more big win in order to secure a rematch with the champ, but he’s not that far away.
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