Flyweight title challenger Deiveson Figueiredo does not want to simply win the vacant 125 belt when the meets Joseph Benavidez at UFC Norfolk, he wants to make a statement in the Octagon.
In an interview with Ag Fight, the heavy-handed Brazilian revealed that he thinks Benavidez might already be a little worn out after so many battles in his career, and believes Joseph will not be able to handle Deiveson’s power as the fight progresses.
“Benavidez is a seasoned guy, I’m sure he’s a little worn out. He challenged the belt twice and came up short both times. I’m coming in at full speed. Everyone that was put in front of me, I smashed. I’m sure it won’t be different against Benavidez. He doesn’t doesn’t pose much of a threat to me. I know his styles and planning to work with that. He won’t want to strike with me, so he’ll threat to use his wrestling. I’ll be able to stuff his takedowns and land hard shots. My goal is to knock him out, I want to soundly win the belt.”
Although he never fought in a five-round bout before, Deiveson is aware he won’t be able to go all out from the start, in order to preserve some of his cardio for the championship rounds. Even if the plan is still to knock Benavidez out in highlight fashion, Figueiredo does plan to have a smart fight.
“I need to be more cautions, because it’s a five-round fight, but I won’t stop being aggressive. I’ll fight like I always have. He expects that aggression from me. So I’ll be a little more cautious, because it’s a title fight, but my goal is to knock him out. I’ll manage my cardio in the first rounds, but I’m going for the kill in the last ones.”
Currently on a two-fight winning streak, Figueiredo (17-1) earned the title shot after a unanimous decision win over Alexandre Pantoja and submission victory against Tim Elliott in his last outing, in October. The 32-year-old’s last and sole loss happened in March 2019, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Jussier Formiga.
Now, Figueiredo is expected to take on Benavidez at UFC Fight Night 169’s main event, in Norfolk, Virginia, on February 29.