Should the UFC book Deiveson Figueiredo – Dominick Cruz?

Jan 21, 2023; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Deiveson Figueiredo (red gloves) enters the arena before the fight against Brandon Moreno (blue gloves) during UFC 283 at Jeunesse Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 283, we saw the fourth and final installment of a classic rivalry. Deiveson Figueiredo (21-3-1) and Brandon Moreno (21-6-2) settled the score once and for all with the flyweight title on the line.

In the first fight, Moreno pushed Figueiredo harder than anyone had before. Figueiredo would have still won had he not had a point taken away. Oh how history would be different if that wouldn’t have happened. Instead, the immediately rematch and Moreno submits him.

Then, Figueiredo regained the UFC title last January defeating Moreno by decision. All those fights led up to Saturday night where the superior fighter revealed himself. That superior fighter at 125 pounds is Brandon Moreno.

Moreno was ahead of Figueiredo all night long and Figueiredo couldn’t get started. In the third round, he landed a devastating left hook that closed Figueiredo’s eye. The doctors called the fight after the round and Figueiredo suffered his second stoppage loss to Brandon Moreno.

What should the UFC do?

Figueiredo announced after the fight that he was done at 125 pounds. The weight cut to get down to flyweight always appeared to be brutal for Figueiredo and he’s done with it. Now, he will turn his attention to the bantamweight division.

In looking at the landscape of 135 pounds, the road doesn’t get easier for Figueiredo. When I look at the division, there is one guy who jumps out as a potential first opponent. That opponent would be former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz.

Cruz is coming off a knockout loss to Chito Vera last year. He looked really good in that fight before getting caught with a head kick. The name recognition is there and the story of two former champions meeting is there. To me, it’s a perfect matchup for both men at this time.