Helwani: A fearless, highly effective flyweight — Deiveson Figueiredo on verge of changing into UFC’s subsequent star

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What does it take to change into a star in MMA?

Properly, for starters, it’s a must to win fights. Clearly. However, as everyone knows, that is not sufficient.

You need to end fights. Little question about it.

You need to be well-rounded. For positive.

You need to be flashy. That at all times helps.

And also you most definitely must be a showman. Completely.

Deiveson Figueiredo has all of it. He’s a star within the making. He’s the fighter the male flyweight division has been ready for, and he’s the subsequent Brazilian star the UFC has been craving.

On Saturday, in his first title protection, Figueiredo capped off the most effective 12 months of his profession with an exceptional win over Alex Perez in UFC 255. The supremely sturdy and fast Brazilian pulled off a beaut of a guillotine in below two minutes.

This was the type of displaying Figueiredo wanted in his first pay-per-view important occasion, which simply so occurred to coincide together with his first journey to Las Vegas. Think about that.

It was additionally the efficiency the UFC wanted to justify not solely the choice to place Figueiredo in the primary occasion, however to additionally stay within the males’s flyweight enterprise.

It wasn’t that way back that all the division gave the impression to be on life help. Heck, some even believed Figueiredo lacking weight earlier this 12 months previous to the vacant title combat in opposition to Joseph Benavidez would show to be the ultimate nail within the division’s coffin. Some believed the UFC would lastly shut the division down after he beat Benavidez however could not win the title as a result of the truth that he missed weight. Actually, it appeared like the right excuse to chop bait.

Thank heavens the promotion determined in opposition to that.

I might wish to assume that regardless of that blunder on the size, the UFC brass noticed one thing in Figueiredo throughout that first combat in opposition to Benavidez. I imply, who would not be intrigued by a former hair stylist/sushi chef/fisherman/brick layer/safety guard/taxi driver turned high-level fighter. Add his 85% ending price, his impeccable model and his cool hair and Figueiredo is simply what the physician ordered for 125.

And whereas I am showering Figueiredo with reward, how about the truth that he, as champion, known as out his subsequent foe within the postfight interview with Joe Rogan? That hardly ever occurs.

As a substitute of concentrating on the sexier identify, Cody Garbrandt, the champ known as out a real flyweight, Brandon Moreno, who simply so occurred to choose up a giant win Saturday as effectively and is unbeaten in his previous 5 fights.

Take a look at that. An thrilling, preventing 125-pound champion calling out a fellow flyweight, who picked up a giant win within the coveted featured prelim of a pay-per-view occasion headlined by a male flyweight title combat, which had not headlined a UFC pay-per-view in over 5 years.

In a 12 months crammed with one unusual prevalence after the subsequent, this feels becoming. It is also extraordinarily refreshing.

Not is each flyweight combat a referendum on the division and weight class. Not are we speaking about whether or not the division will stop to exist in a month or so.

No, now we’re simply all trying ahead to Figueiredo’s subsequent combat. His subsequent protection. His subsequent outfit. His subsequent end. And, in line with UFC president Dana White, we would even see him again in motion as quickly as subsequent month. White mentioned the plan is to maintain Figueiredo in Vegas and have him face Moreno. That is an excellent thought. Strike whereas the iron is sizzling.

This can be a victory for the vocal minority who pleaded for the promotion to not hand over on the little guys. As a result of the UFC’s latest Brazilian champion, who simply would possibly find yourself being its 2020 male fighter of the 12 months, too, can also be on the verge of changing into its subsequent star.


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