Demetrious Johnson Praises Deiveson Figueiredo
UFC 255 went down at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas this weekend. In the main event, flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo successfully defended his belt via a first-round submission victory against Alex Perez.
This was the Brazilian’s first title defence after winning the flyweight title against Joseph Benavidez at UFC Fight Island 2 in July. This was also the first time since Rafael dos Anjos beat ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone at UFC on Fox 17 five years ago that a male Brazilian UFC champion successfully defended his belt.
Praise For Figueiredo
Figueiredo’s recent performances have caught the attention of many, including former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who successfully defended his crown eleven times during his six year reign as the champ. Speaking to MMA Fighting, ‘Mighty Mouse’ said that he’s been really impressed with the Brazilian champion, and believes he has all the tools to stay on top for a long time.
“I think Figueiredo is great,” Johnson said. “He’s got all the tools to be a champion for a very, very long time. He can take a shot, he’s got great cardio, great jiu-jitsu, he hits hard and those are all good things to have a long title reign. As long as he stays healthy, drug tests come back clean and keeps making weight, I don’t see why he couldn’t be champion for a long time.”
Men’s Flyweight Division
Since Johnson moved to ONE Championship in 2018, there has been speculation that the UFC would scrap their flyweight division. But with the injection of new stars and stellar performances, the division is now lauded as one of the most exciting by some fans. While for some fans, the division still isn’t as enjoyable as the heavier divisions.
“When I watch [flyweight] fights, I don’t necessarily think these guys need to go out there and make a statement that the division is dope. I’ve always thought that way,” Johnson said. “That was always my mindset and for me, I like vanilla cake. You will never get me to like chocolate cake. I don’t care if we’re on Mars, Venus, or Pluto, I’m always gonna enjoy vanilla cake over chocolate cake.
“That’s how it is with some people. They like heavyweight fighters more than small weight fighters and I respect that. You can try to persuade them but, for me, I know what type of weight classes I enjoy watching and nobody is going to change that perspective. There might be a certain athlete that might make me change that, but in the end, that’s what I like.”
Figueiredo vs Henry Cejudo
At present, Figueiredo appears invincible but Johnson believes Henry Cejudo – who put an end to Johnson’s reign as the 125lbs king – could potentially pose problems to the reigning champion.
“I would love to see him and Henry Cejudo,” Johnson explained. “I’d love to see Cejudo come back and fight him because I feel like Henry Cejudo is the complete package. He’ll push the pace, he’ll wrestle, and he’s intelligent. I feel like Henry would go out there and pose problems. Me and Cejudo have fought before, so I know that Henry can go out there and figure out a puzzle.”
Would you, like Demetrious Johnson, be interested in seeing Deiveson Figueiredo vs Henry Cejudo?