What should have been a triumphant weekend for Deiveson Figueiredo turned into a memorable one for the wrong reasons as his goal of becoming UFC flyweight champion was stifled by his inability to beat the scale.
Figueiredo did manage to beat Joseph Benavidez in the UFC Norfolk main event, and based on that effort, UFC President Dana White is open to running the matchup back.
“Listen, that was a great fight,” White said, speaking to the media ahead of Saturday’s UFC 248 event in Las Vegas. “A great fight. Absolutely, the head butt had a lot to do with the knockout too, not to take anything away from him, it was a great fight, but I think you have to do that fight again.
“First of all, he didn’t make weight. Joe still fought him, there was a headbutt, so a lot of controversy in that fight. But it was a great fight. Both guys came to fight, I’m sure you guys know how I feel about him not making weight, but we’ll do it again. They both deserve it.”
A longtime contender at both 135 and 125 pounds, Benavidez was competing for a UFC title for the third time after faltering in two previous championship bouts against Demetrious Johnson. This was to be Figueiredo’s first world title fight, but the 32-year-old Brazilian came in at 127.5 pounds at Friday’s weigh-ins—2.5 pounds over the championship limit—and it was ruled that only Benavidez would be eligible to claim the title with a win on Saturday.