Deiveson Figueiredo credits Brandon Moreno for the performance he put on at UFC 263, but the ex-champion says he wasn’t feeling himself when he lost the title.
As he left the hotel Saturday to travel to the venue, Figueiredo (20-2-1 MMA, 9-2-1 UFC) knew something was up. He didn’t feel well, but he put his faith in God’s hands. Things did not play out as he planned.
“I left the hotel feeling very bad,” Figueiredo told Combate (translated from Portuguese). “I knew it wasn’t my day, but I gave it into God’s hands, and going to the octagon I said, ‘Lord, yours will be done.’ I got in there, I didn’t really fight like I (can).”
In the third round of his third title defense, Figueiredo was submitted by Moreno (19-5-2 MMA, 8-2-2 UFC), who became the first Mexico-born champion in promotion history.
Their UFC 263 co-main event clash was a rematch of their UFC 256 “Fight of the Year” candidate, which ended in a draw. Figueiredo was docked a point in that fight after he landed a low blow to Moreno. The way the first fight played out contributes to Figueiredo’s eagerness for a trilogy bout.
“I really want to immediately ask for a rematch with Dana and I hope to be (obliged) because I won the first fight and even so they took a point from me and they decided to draw to give the second fight,” Figueiredo said. “And now I want the trilogy. He got my belt, the first one I won and we’re going to fight this third fight now to take the fight off.”
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When he put aside his disappointment Figueiredo complimented the new champion on a fairly dominant victory. The loss lit a spark under Figueiredo and he promised to return with a title-clinching performance when he’s ready to come back, which he estimates will be in approximately four months.
“He’s to be congratulated,” Figueiredo said. “It was his night. He certainly trained very well for this fight and today was not my day. But I want the trilogy, I want this fight to happen. Now I just want to go back home and train again just right, to really show who I am, the real owner of the belt. I only want four months, that’s when I’m going to stabilize. My gym is changing, all this is a process that kind of messed up my training, but now I want to go back, get everything right and be able to win the belt again.”
UFC 263 took place Saturday at Gila River Arena. The main card streamed on pay-per-view after prelims on ESPN/ESPN+.