Deiveson Figueiredo faces Alex Perez in his first UFC flyweight title defense at UFC 255, but the Brazilian has admitted that his original opponent Cody Garbrandt is a “more dangerous fight.”
Figueiredo was originally booked to fight the former bantamweight champion Garbrandt, but he was forced to pull-out of the fight earlier this month after tearing his bicep. The Brazilian Figueiredo won the 125-pound title in July by submitting Joseph Benavidez in the first round.
The 28-year-old Perez, who has only one UFC loss on his record, was then shifted from his Nov. 21st fight with Brandon Moreno to fight Figueiredo.
“I don’t get scared by opponents,” Figueiredo told MMA Fighting. “With all due respect, Cody Garbrandt would have been a more dangerous fight for me, but I was training to knock him out. Unfortunately he got hurt, and I hope he recovers quickly so we can make this fight happen.”
Perez (24-5) made his UFC debut in 2017 after impressing on the first season of Dana White’s contender series. The flyweight is undefeated in his last three fights and has already picked up two stoppage wins in 2020, the latest against Jussier Formiga in June.
“They put Alex Perez in, and I don’t see many qualities in him,” Figueiredo said. “I’m training really hard as if I was fighting Garbrandt. You can be sure that I’ll train hard to knock him out. Based on what I’ve seen, Alex Perez’s style favors me. He’s slow, I see no danger in him. That’s why I’m training to knock him out in the first round.”
UFC 255 takes place on November 21st at the promotion’s APEX facility in Las Vegas. Figueiredo vs. Perez will headline the card.