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Figueiredo avoiding grappling sessions because of coronavirus, wants Benavidez rematch

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Flyweight contender Deiveson Figueiredo wants a second go against Joseph Benavidez, after missing weight the first time.

MMA: UFC 240-Pantoja vs Figueiredo Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Because of just a couple of pounds, Deiveson Figueiredo missed the chance to become the new UFC flyweight champion when he took on and defeated perennial contender Joseph Benavideez back in February.

Although ‘Deus da Guerra’ soundly bested Benavidez with a second-round knockout victory, the Brazilian did come into the fight for the vacant title two and a half pounds over the 125 limit, so his victory meant that the division would go even further withouth an official title holder, after Henry Cejudo was stripped of his belt.

In an interview with Combate, Deiveson reveals a wish to take on Benavidez again, in July. This time around, though, he wants to become the first man to ever finish Joseph via submission.

“I’m using this quarantine to treat some minor injuries, to let my body heal. Benavidez deserves the rematch, especially because he fought me while I was overweight. We’ll fight again, erase the doubts, because he thinks he can beat me. I knocked him out in the second, now I want to submit him in the first. I want be the first one to ever submit him. The goal is to submit him. Once we scramble, I’ll catch him.”

“Lots of people talk about how I missed weight.” Figueiredo continued. “I just want to make weight and be done with that excuse. I’ll finish him nicely so there is no need for a third fight. I’ll rip his head off, be it with a rear-naked choke or any other kind of choke.”

Even though Deiveson is nursing minor injuries and the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to pick up momentum in Para, the Brazilian state where he lives, Figueiredo believes he will be able to rematch Joseph again in a couple of months, and targets some date in July for their second encounter.

“I train in the morning and in the afternoon, following the instructions the authorities tell me to. Portal da Amazonia (a riverside area in Belem) is an open place, I feel good training there. We started wearing the mask the pandemic has gotten worse in Belem. Things are getting pretty serious. We’re avoiding grappling sessions, I take no risks, I have a baby at home. I train boxing, muay thai, everything where I don’t have to be close to anybody. I wear a mask, I use hand sanitizer, I keep my distance. This won’t end until people start following what the health people tell them to do. You have to obey them for us to get rid of this.”

Before his victory over Benavidez, Figueiredo (18-1) was already on a two-fight winning streak, with wins over both Tim Elliott and Alexandre Pantoja. The 32-year-old’s last and sole loss happened in March 2019, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Jussier Formiga.