Deiveson Figueiredo could have become a UFC champion this weekend. Unfortunately, a scale fail has dashed his title dreams.
On Friday morning, Figueiredo missed weight for his flyweight title fight with Joseph Benavidez, which tops Saturday’s UFC Norfolk card. The Brazilian finished tipped the scales at 127.5 pounds, a significant 2.5 pounds over the 125-pound limit for flyweight title fights. While he was initially given an extra hour to make weight, he and his team ultimately abandoned their attempt to do so.
With this result, Figueiredo will surrender 30% of his purse to Benavidez. Far more importantly, he will no longer be eligible to win the flyweight title — even if he defeats Benavidez. In other words, the UFC flyweight title will still be vacant even if Figueiredo comes out on top tomorrow.
Unsurprisingly, this UFC Norfolk shakeup generated some interesting reactions rom the MMA community.
It's never been easy for Joe Benavidez. Being on the cusp of finally clinching a UFC title and being forced to fight a wild Deiveson Figueiredo with nothing to lose makes sense. https://t.co/WxbOPvdvfB
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) February 28, 2020
Maybe Deiveson has a good excuse for missing weight, but he and Joe B. are fighting for gold in the UFC's least popular, longest struggling division. You'd think they'd both be focused on bringing some credibility to that division.
By missing weight, Deiveson did the opposite.
— Tom Taylor (@TomTayMMA) February 28, 2020
Wow. This is terrible. https://t.co/crBWuShAs5
— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) February 28, 2020
Well that's just great. https://t.co/PmdLtPdalg
— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) February 28, 2020
This is pure speculation, but definitely wonder if the flyweight division will survive if Deiveson Figueiredo wins this fight. The title would still be vacant. Unreal, really. Cejudo saves it. Now Joe B has to save it. And a flyweight (Figueiredo) is actually trying to kill it.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) February 28, 2020
Save us Joe B-Wan Kenobi. You're our only hope. https://t.co/4Lp7GGr7i5
— Kelsey McCarson (@kelsey_mccarson) February 28, 2020
Damn! Unbelievable. Unprofessional by Figueiredo. https://t.co/q4eeeJwT21
— Steven Muehlhausen (@SMuehlhausenJr) February 28, 2020
Crazy. Had plenty of notice for this title fight too https://t.co/BkD6WWwttr
— James Lynch (@LynchOnSports) February 28, 2020
Deiveson Figueiredo will enter this UFC Norfolk headlining fight with Joseph Benavidez on a two-fight streak, having recently defeated Alexandre Pantoja by decision, and Tim Elliot by submission.
Leading into the fight with Benavidez, he told BJPENN.com that he believed he’d become the champion this weekend.
“Fighting for the belt is making my dreams come true. I am not just going to fight for the belt, I’m going to win and be the champion. Everybody can be sure about that,” Figueiredo said through his manager Wallid Ismail, who served as translator. “I’m very confident and on Saturday I’m going to be the next UFC champion. I have a lot of respect for Benavidez but he can not handle me.”
Unfortunately, that’s no longer possible.
What are your thoughts on Deiveson Figueiredo missing the flyweight limit for his UFC Norfolk title fight with Joseph Benavidez?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/28/2020.