At one point when Deiveson Figueiredo was the UFC flyweight champion, he saw Cody Garbrandt as a potential contender.
Now he’d advise “No Love” against ever entering another bout at 125 pounds again.
Figueiredo, who challenges UFC champion Brandon Moreno for a third time in the co-main event of UFC 270 on Saturday, said on a recent edition of MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca that Garbrandt should consider returning to bantamweight after losing to Kai Kara-France in his flyweight debut this past December.
“I really expected more,” Figueiredo said of Garbrandt’s flyweight debut. “It became clear that this division is not for him. He has to stay in his weight class. It’s clear he gets weaker, physically speaking, going down in weight. He’s totally worn out. He should stay [at bantamweight] or move up to 145. This division is not for him.”
Garbrandt won the UFC bantamweight championship in 2016 with a masterful performance over Dominick Cruz, but then lost four of his next five octagon appearances before cutting down to flyweight. “No Love” was knocked out in all but one of those contests, and Figueiredo believes the extra weight cut made it ”even worse” for the American.
With such a skid, Figueiredo no longer entertains the idea of possibly facing Garbrandt in the future, “because,” he said, “[Garbrandt is] totally in decline.”
That said, Figueiredo also wouldn’t advise “No Love” to hang up his gloves.
“Since he’s a boxer and likes boxing, it would be good for him to box, to make that transition,” Figueiredo said. “He’s too young to think about retirement. He’s still got wood left to burn. In MMA [too], but flyweight is not for him. That message was very clear.”
Figueiredo is set to return to the octagon in the co-main event of UFC 270 in a trilogy bout with Brandon Moreno. The first bout ended in a draw, and Moreno claimed the 125-pound belt via submission in the rematch.