If Deiveson Figueiredo heard what Joe Rogan had to say about his flyweight return, he might have had words for the longtime UFC commentator.
Rogan made a striking statement during the preliminary broadcast of UFC 277, calling Saturday’s co-headliner between Brandon Moreno and Kai Kara-France “the real world title fight.”
“I don’t think we’re ever going to see Deiveson Figueiredo down at 125 again, and I think those two gentlemen, there’s a real good argument that Moreno won that last fight as well,” said Rogan to fellow commentators Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier. “So that is, in my opinion, that’s the world title fight right there.”
Figueiredo recently told MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca that he will UFC 277 and sit cageside for Moreno vs. Kara-France 2, a rematch put together after he was unable to defend his title due to hand and knee injuries.
The flyweight champ put off a long-discussed move to bantamweight, seeing a long wait due to the current list of contenders, and is focused on defending his title in his native Brazil.
“My fight is to bring this match to Brazil,” Figueiredo said. “Since they’re doing a UFC here, I want to make sure they book my fight for Brazil. I want to fight whoever wins [at UFC 277]whoever that is, to face me here under my crowd.”
Figueiredo recaptured the flyweight title in a trilogy against Moreno at UFC 270. That left the rivals at 1-1-1 and spurred talk of a fourth fight due to the competitiveness of the matchup.
But soon after, Figueiredo seemed to sour on the idea of a fourth fight and instead looked toward champ-champ status. Then he battled with his manager over his pay for the Moreno trilogy and signed with a new rep, former UFC figther Tiki Ghosn, in an effort to brighten his prospects.
“I admit I have the desire to go up to 135,” Figueiredo told Trocação Franca. “I don’t know when, only God knows that. [But] As long as I’m having success at 125 and have someone to challenge me, rest assured that I’ll continue defending what’s mine.”
Rogan’s statement on Figueiredo wouldn’t be the first time he has engaged in hyperbole while assessing a fighter’s career. Particularly when pitching pay-per-view cards on TV, he often makes eye-raising statements on the significance of certain fights or fighters. Rarely, however, does he undercut active champions.