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‘Plastic belt!’ - Figueiredo admits being ‘upset’ with UFC for having ‘worthless’ interim title bout

Deiveson Figueiredo sees no point in the interim title fight between Brando Moreno and Kai Kara-France

UFC 270: Ngannou v Gane Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

The UFC flyweight champion never hid his disapproval of a potential interim title in his division, but the promotion went ahead and did it anyway.

Having defeated Brandon Moreno just last January, Deiveson Figueiredo went on record saying a temporary belt would be uncalled for in the next months. Needless to say, the champion was upset to see that the UFC announced an interim title match between the aforementioned Moreno and rising contender Kai Kara-France for July.

In an interview with Combate, a disgruntled Figueiredo did not acknowledge the interim belt’s legitimacy, calling it a joke and fake. However, Deiveson says he will not miss the chance to see Moreno and Kara-France fighting for it at UFC 277.

“To me, it’s a plastic belt, it’s worthless. I’m the real title-holder. Like Charles Oliveira says, ‘The champion has a name’. It’s me, Deiveson Figueiredo. God of War. I’ll be attending that fight just to see that joke they’re making. This has got me a little upset with the UFC. I’ve always given them a show in my fights. I’ve always given them good things.”

Although Figueiredo cannot fight until he properly heals from injuries in both of his hands, the champion believes he deserves a fitting purse for his return, and hopes Kara-France emerges victorious from the interim title fight.

“I’ll keep saying this, be it against him (Moreno) or anyone else. I want to get paid well. I want a purse that makes me feel good. It doesn’t have to be a million dollars, but the UFC can pay me 600 thousand. There are many fights for me to choose from. I’m the champion. They’re going to try and to force me (to face Moreno), but there are other guys. It’s like I’ve been saying. If they pay me well enough, I’ll fight that racist jerk. It’s not a problem. He poses no threat. I know how to beat him. You saw it last time, I almost knocked him out. I almost finished him.”

“I think Kara-France is going to knock out Moreno.” Figueiredo continued. “Surely Moreno is going to want to use his jiu-jitsu and take him down. If it stays on the feet, though, Kara-France is going to knock out Moreno.”

In his last outing, Figueiredo (21-2-1) defeated Moreno via unanimous decision in their trilogy bout, back in January. Before that, the Mexican finished Deiveson by submission in June 2021. In their first fight, the pair fought to a majority draw, back in December 2020.

Now, Moreno is expected to take on Kara-France for the interim flyweight belt at UFC 277’s co-main event, on July 30, in Dallas, Texas. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Julianna Pena and former title-holder Amanda Nunes.