Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Jussier Formiga is happy to be taking on a heavy-handed striker for his next bout.
Scheduled to take on rising undefeated flyweight prospect Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC Tennessee, Formiga tells Combate he is eager to face someone who won all of his 15 professional bouts so far.
However, although Formiga recognizes how capable and dangerous his opponent is, the Brazilian also stated that Figueiredo’s flaw might lie in his technique, which Jussier feels like it’s not that well refined.
“He is good, he’s 15-0,” Formiga said. “He hasn’t faced many well-known guys yet, but he’s good, I can’t take that away from him. I can’t say he’s all that technical, but he is really tough. He’s always moving forward, no wonder he is undefeated. I only have good things to say about him, even he is the second Brazilian I’ll have to face in the UFC. It’s never good to fight a fellow Brazilian, but it’s a fight we couldn’t turn down. He’s a top 5 man and so am I, unfortunately, we’ll have to fight.”
Despite being a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt and owning zero knockout wins in his professional MMA career, Formiga has shown a certain degree of development in his striking arsenal over the years, scoring several knockdowns in recent fights. Matched up against a creative striker in Figueiredo, Jussier believes he has skills enough to surprise Deiveson not only on the mat, but in a stand-up fight, too.
“It’s great for me, I love to fight strikers, guys who have the same style as Deiveson,” Formiga said. “My last fight wasn’t too different from this one, with Pettis, I think he’s even more technical than Deiveson. I know he is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt, but I never saw him rolling too much. I think he’s more of a stand-up guy, he’ll only take you down if he’s against the fence and looking to end up on top, that’s basically it.
“I love a clash of styles, it’s what the fans call a striker vs. grappler, I love it that everyone thinks I’m a grappler, because that way I can show my striking skills, I can surprise him, just like I was able to surprise my previous opponents. I’ve been training my striking, you can be sure of that.”
Formiga vs. Figueiredo will be on the main card of UFC Nashville, which takes place on March 23rd on ESPN+. The card will be headlined by a welterweight bout between Stephen Thompson and Anthony Pettis.