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ABU DHABI — UFC president Dana White wants Deiveson Figueiredo to defend his belt flyweight title at least twice now that the company finally has a new 125-pound king. But Figueiredo has different plans.
Speaking to the media after an impressive one-round beatdown of Joseph Benavidez in the main event of UFC Fight Island 2, Figueiredo said he’d love to have former WEC and UFC star Demetrious Johnson as his next opponent at flyweight.
“That’s definitely a fight that all the fans would wanna see, me against Demetrious Johnson,” Figueiredo said of the former UFC champion, who’s now under contract with ONE Championship. “If the UFC wants to bring him back, I’m gonna be very happy, and I’m gonna knock him out with a lot of pride. Very happy to do that.”
A recently-retired fighter is also in Figueiredo’s radar. In addition to Johnson, he called for a bantamweight clash with former two-division titleholder Henry Cejudo.
“I’d like to have a fight at 135, you know?” Figueiredo said. “I’d like to be the guy to bring Cejudo back from retirement. I think he was looking for a worthy opponent, and I’m that guy. I’d love to move up and be able to fight him at 135.”
Now holding a 19-1 pro record and two victories over perennial contender Benavidez, Figueiredo said he’s the man to beat at flyweight. That brings extra responsibility and pressure – but also possibility.
Earlier in the press conference, UFC President Dana White wouldn’t weigh in on who occupies the No. 1 contender in the flyweight division right now. Names like Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov are currently jockeying for that position, but White said he’d sort things out later.
In the meantime, Figueiredo said the work doesn’t stop.
“Now that I have the belt, I have to train very hard,” Figueiredo said. “I’m the guy that everyone wants to beat, so I’m the guy that everyone’s looking at.”