Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting
ABU DHABI — Deiveson Figueiredo’s COVID-19 drama is almost rearview mirror after the UFC flyweight contender successfully passed multiple tests since landing in the United Arab Emirates earlier this week, MMA Fighting has learned.
Figueiredo is scheduled headline Saturday’s UFC Fight Island 2 event on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, against perennial contender Joseph Benavidez. Like all fighters competing on the card, he will have to undergo another COVID-19 test on weigh-in day on Friday before the fights take place on Saturday night.
“Deus da Guerra” wasn’t allowed on the second chartered flight that left Sao Paulo six days ago after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. The Brazilian talent defended it was a false-positive since he had COVID-19 two months prior in his hometown. A second test was done the next morning, and it came back negative.
Figueiredo then boarded a Sao Paulo-Paris-Abu Dhabi flight on Monday afternoon, finally landing in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday night. MMA Fighting was at the UFC host hotel the moment he arrived, and the 125-pounder was confident he would not only make weight, but finish Benavidez a second time and claim the UFC belt.
The Brazilian fighter was once again tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at the W Hotel in Abu Dhabi, and tested a second time the following day. Figueiredo was given a wristband that allows him to leave his room and move around the island’s “safe zone,” indicating he has passed both tests.
Figueiredo vs. Benavidez will be a rematch for the vacant 125-pound title since their first clash earlier this year ended without a new king being crowned. Figueiredo, who won via second-round knockout, missed weight the day before, and was ineligible to win title. This time, “Deus da Guerra” guarantees he will make weight with ease.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem at all,” Figueiredo said during Thursday’s UFC virtual media day. “My weight is a lot better control than it was for last fight. I actually traveled from (Brazil) around two kilos [4.4 pounds] over so I’m very close to it. That’s about as much as I have to take out on Friday. So it should be an easy cut. I’ll start in the morning and I’ll be on weight by the time that weigh-ins start.”
The UFC Fight Island 2 official weigh-ins goes down at 9 a.m. ET and will be streamed live on MMA Fighting.