Although it’s expected that a rematch between UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo and top contender Brandon Moreno will take place sooner rather than later, the two fighters seem to have differing opinions on a timeline.
After the two went toe-to-toe for five rounds in a blood and guts war at UFC 256 this past December, UFC President Dana White immediately expressed his interest in a rematch. Not only was the fight an instant classic, but it was deemed a majority draw. So while Figueiredo retained his title, the ending was a bit anti-climactic.
Now two months removed from the fight, Moreno seems ready to run things back.
“I’ve been in the gym since the fight, training extremely hard,” Moreno told MMAJunkie through a translator. “In my conversations with my manager, Jason House, I told him that I’m ready for April, and he’s pushing the UFC hard. But apparently, Figueiredo thinks a little differently than us. When he was cornering his brother, he looked a little chubby, so I don’t really know if April would work.”
Since UFC 256, Deiveson Figueiredo, who had a massive 2020, has discussed his interest in a bout against former two-division champion Henry Cejudo, who retired last May. A bout against former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, who was scheduled to challenge Figueiredo late last year, also remains an option.
Moreno obviously disagrees with this way of thinking, but according to Figueiredo’s manager, Wallid Ismail, the rematch is definitely next. However, the only issue is that the champion is angling for a June date as opposed to Moreno’s preferred April date.
“100 percent his [Figueiredo] next fight is Moreno,” Ismail told BJPENN.com. We are working on it happening in June. There is no date yet, but Deiveson wants June.”
Regardless of when it takes place, it seems like all parties involved agree that a second fight is in order.
And when the time comes to settle the score, Moreno believes he’ll present the champion with a much-improved version of himself.
“I’ve discovered the great secret of ‘Figgy,’” Moreno said. “He just tries to intimidate you and get you off your game – make you beat yourself. Once you cross that off the wall, you can see he’s just a human like you and me. I’m proud of my performance in our first fight, and I know I’m going to be twice the fighter I am when I’m back in the Octagon.”
Long Island-based sports writer covering MMA, Boxing, and the New York Jets.