Brazilian contender, Deiveson ‘Daico’ Figueiredo, is simply well-rounded personified. A hugely talented striker with some real knockout power at 125-pounds, and when called upon, has a slick submission game to boot. A stance-switching power-puncher with the ability to finish anyone at flyweight today, the 32-year-old has earned his first promotional title-tilt this weekend – taking on an opponent, more than familiar with the spoils up for grabs.
Brazil native, Figueiredo has managed six victories – just three years deep into his Octagon stint and stands opposite longtime number one contender, Joseph Benavidez in the main event of UFC Fight Night Norfolk this weekend, as both men vie to become the new undisputed UFC flyweight champion. His only falter since 2017; a unanimous decision defeat to fellow contender and compatriot, Jussier Formiga. Figueiredo was simply out-scrambled and wrestled in that March showing – but has displayed the dangers of shooting either side of him.
In what ultimately proved to be a title-eliminator, Figueiredo was matched with former title chaser, Tim Elliott at UFC Fight Night Tampa last year, and managed to earn his first championship opportunity via an opening-round guillotine. The Para born finisher almost pulled-guard from a takedown attempt from Elliott, and immediately wrapped up the choke. Although, a clever ploy for Texas native, Benavidez would be to utilise his wrestling chaps.
Figueiredo is of course extremely dangerous off his back, but a wary approach from Benavidez could serve to stifle the Brazilian if the contest exceeds the opening round or two. Formiga managed to limit any real offence from Figueiredo through this exact method, on his way to a judging victory. As seen previously, a chink in Figueiredo’s armour is his tendency to struggle with out-and-out wrestlers. He’s been shot on thirteen times successfully in the UFC, with Jared Brooks landing an astonishing seven – in a contest, he should have probably emerged victorious from. Take note.
Both men matchup on the feet quite interestingly. Given their natural frame, both are lightning-fast, and the pair are accomplished boxers. From his seventeen professional triumphs, Figueiredo has managed eights stoppages via strikes – level with Benavidez. Where Figueiredo is at his absolute best, is when he varies his offence.
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A mixture of wrestling, and striking, to both the body and head, led to an eventual knockout of Marco Beltrán back in 2017. If the Brazilian is to leave Virginia strapped with gold, a similar approach against someone as traversed and travelled as ‘Joey Two Times’ is a necessity. The seamless way in which Figueiredo switches from conventional to southpaw makes his setups hugely difficult to predict also. A victory for Figueiredo would see him join Amanda Nunes as the other only champion hailing from Brazil, and the first male gold-holder since José Aldo was declared undisputed featherweight king back in 2016.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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