There was one word Deiveson Figueiredo used at the UFC 270 post-fight press conference that needed no translation: crybaby.
The Brazilian champ had used it before to describe his opponent, Brandon Moreno, but he relished it a little bit more after reclaiming the UFC flyweight title on Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
In response to Moreno saying he thought he won, Figueiredo deadpanned, “It was 4-1. I mean, there were five knockdowns. It was funny that it was 4-1 – they could have just [given] me every round.”
Two of three judges scored it 3-2 in favor of Figueiredo, 48-47, while a third awarded a wider margin of 49-46. The result was not at all a surprise, the newly re-crowned champion said after a week of antagonizing Moreno and his fans.
A right hand that sat down the Mexican champ at the end of the third round was the only near-miss that Figueiredo lamented.
“If it was 30 seconds more, I feel I would have gotten him,” Figueiredo said. “I think he lost his senses a little bit. He looked like he was not feeling too well there and was kind of saved by the buzzer. I feel his soul left his body, and I feel with 30 seconds I would have killed it.”
Figueiredo profusely thanked his new team – which included former two-division champion Henry Cejudo – out of Fight Ready in Scottsdale, Ariz., for tempering the aggression that allowed him to go into championship rounds.
“I used to come into the octagon so full of energy trying to finish people off in the first minutes, and it was very important to keep calm and become even more dangerous,” he said. “Because then, my strikes would come as a surprise to him.”
The shock that came from the crowd at Honda Center wasn’t a welcome one as the pro-Moreno crowd loudly booed the decision. Nothing Figueiredo said or did changed that, but the champ took a special pleasure in having the last laugh.
“I can definitely feel the warmth,” he joked. “I love when people yell at me and swear at me. I love Mexico so much, I cherish it so much, I’m going to make a video for him eating burritos and saying how much I love Mexico. I wanted to knock him out, and I felt that the crowd was feeling it. And if it wasn’t for those 30 seconds, I feel I would have done it.”
Figueiredo appeared to be pandering to the crowd by welcoming a fourth fight with Moreno in his post-fight speech. That sentiment shifted, however, when he thought about the way the trilogy fight had come about, how the two had sparred over scheduling, and the possible contenders on the horizon.
“Brandon didn’t give me the chance to fight him again,” the UFC flyweight champ said. “He didn’t want to, except [Alexandre] Pantoja got hurt. That’s why the UFC gave him the fight. If he behaves well for the next couple months, we’ll figure this out.”
There’s already a front-runner for the next outing, and it may not be the champ.
“Kai Kara-France, obviously,” Figueiredo said. “I want to knock him out, and he knocked out Cody Garbrandt, so that’s the guy I wanted to knock out. It’s not in my interest to fight Cody any more, so it’s Kai Kara-France.”
“If it’s a good fight, if he behaves well, and if we can do it as a kickass pay-per-view in the United States, this is where I fight, this is where I want to make my money,” Figueiredo added later. “Brandon was talking about the fact that I was his biggest sponsorship. I told him I was going to take that away from him. So fighting Brandon is going to be the thing that gives me more money.”