Deiveson Figueiredo won’t underestimate any challenger that steps into the octagon with him. That said, the UFC flyweight champion doesn’t seem to think Alex Perez will bring any danger to the table at UFC 255.
Perez agreed to replace injured Cody Garbrandt and face 125-pound titleholder “Deus da Guerra” at the Las Vegas pay-per-view event on Nov. 21, and Figueiredo says he had a “cold and calculating” reaction to the news.
“I don’t get scared by opponents,” Figueiredo said during an interview with MMA Fighting. “With all due respect, Cody Garbrandt would have been a more dangerous fight for me, but I was training to knock him out. Unfortunately he got hurt, and I hope he recovers quickly so we can make this fight happen.”
Figueiredo still plans on giving the former bantamweight king a shot at his belt in 2021 so he can “rip his head off” and put an end to “No Love’s” flyweight days. Perez is standing between them, though.
“They put Alex Perez in, and I don’t see many qualities in him,” Figueiredo said. “I’m training really hard as if I was fighting Garbrandt. You can be sure that I’ll train hard to knock him out. Based on what I’ve seen, Alex Perez’s style favors me. He’s slow, I see no danger in him. That’s why I’m training to knock him out in the first round.”
Perez won six of seven bouts since joining the UFC in 2017, capped off by a first-round stoppage over Jussier Formiga, the only man to beat “Deus da Guerra” in MMA.
Asked is he has anything good to say about Perez’s fighting style, a very honest Figueiredo, who beat Perez’s only nemesis Joseph Benavidez twice in his past couple of bouts, said “I don’t see anything good in him.” The Brazilian promises an “insane brawl and first-round knockout” in his first trip to Las Vegas.
Perez was originally booked to face Brandon Moreno on the undercard of UFC 255, and the flyweight champion believes “The Assassin Baby” had a better case for a title shot than Perez.
“I see more qualities in Brandon Moreno than in (Perez), but I’m playing by God’s will,” Figueiredo said. “Since they put him in, I’ll train to knock him out. I always train to knock my opponents out.
“There are no easy fights, there’s always danger, but of all the opponents out there, this matchup is the one that favors me the most. He offers less danger than the others. I always follow God’s plans. Since he’s the one coming to fight me, so be it. I’ll give him a warm welcome.”