This past Saturday on the main card of UFC Austin, a former world champion made his debut in a new weight class. Former flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo (22-3-1) moved up to 135 to take on top contender Rob Font (20-8).
Entering the bout, I had a lot of questions about how Figueiredo would look at 135. What made him so dangerous at 125 was his size advantage and his power. However, I wondered if that power would translate up a weight class. Figueiredo is explosive, but he was never the fastest flyweight so I also wasn’t sure if he’d see that same speed advantage that some guys do see when they move up.
When the fight started at UFC Austin, it was evident that Figueiredo belonged at 135. Font was not nearly as long as I expected him to be and Figueiredo was able to get on the inside in a hurry. Font cracked Figueiredo a number of times and Figgy’s chin held up perfectly. He never even seemed rocked.
However, the same can’t be said for Font. Figueiredo hurt Font a number of times and looked like he was on the verge of finishing him at times. It’s very clear that the power of Figueiredo still plays at 135. In the end, the former UFC flyweight champion walked out with a big time unanimous decision win.
What’s next after UFC Austin?
This was a huge win for the former champion. Again, had he lost, you had to wonder what his future would look like considering the fact that he’s committed to 135. That said, he looked very dominant and now the bantamweight division has a very exciting new contender added to the top ten.
While the rankings haven’t officially dropped, you’d have to think that Figueiredo would move right into the top eight considering the fact that Font was ranked eighth. So, with this huge win and likely top eight spot in the rankings, what should the UFC do next with the former champion?
I absolutely love the idea of Figgy facing off against former champion Petr Yan. Yan has lost a few fights in a row, but he’s still only a few fights removed from being the bantamweight champion. This would be another massive test for Figueiredo, but if he can get by Yan, he’s be right in the conversation as a new challenger for the bantamweight title.