Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters even in excess of 30 pounds.
Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight. In this series, we will shine a light on fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups. Basically, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.
Check out a video version of this week’s WCC in the YouTube video above for your viewing pleasure!
Deiveson “Deus Da Guerra” Figueiredo (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC)
Flyweight (125lbs): 8-1 (UFC), UFC Flyweight Champion, Missed weight 1 time
Deiveson Figueiredo stands at 5’5″ tall and possesses a 68″ reach, which is one of the longest reaches in the flyweight division. And Figueiredo isn’t just a long flyweight fighter, he’s a big one, with a very muscular build. Despite this, the 32-year-old has been a career-long flyweight competitor, and he began to struggle with the weight cut recently. Especially to making a championship weight of 125lbs.
For comparison, that’s the same reach as 5’9″ current #6 ranked flyweight Brandon Royval, and though it isn’t exactly the longest reach in the division it’s pretty close (within 2″).
Deiveson Figueiredo last missed weight in his first of two bouts with Joesph Benavidez for the Vacant UFC Flyweight Championship in February of 2020. Figueredo tipped the scales at 127.5lbs. In the resulting championship fight, Deiveson Figueiredo showed off his next-level power, flattening the long time flyweight staple in just two rounds. Figueiredo shocked the MMA world but was ineligible to capture the flyweight title thanks to missing weight on the scale the day prior. And thanks to the added controversy of the finish in the actual fight itself, seeing an accidental headbutt practically blind Benavidez mere seconds before the KO, it was a very interesting title fight ending. So to the surprise of few, Figueiredo would have a rematch against Benavidez just five months later in July 2020.
With Deiveson’s massive size comes one of his strengths, massive punching power. Figueiredo has six finishes out of nine fights in the UFC. Figueiredo has nine KOs in his career total and it almost overshadows how good he is with his on the ground as he’s landed 35% of his significant strikes there and has six submissions.
Figueiredo was originally scheduled to take on former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt at UFC 255, who was coming down in weight to face the Brazillian for his flyweight title. This fight would have been a great match-up to see Deiveson against a much larger man as well as a fighter with arguably as much KO who punching power if not more. Instead, Figueiredo will take on another man, Alex Perez. Who might not have been a bantamweight champion, but was a bantamweight in the UFC and fought at as high as 139lbs in catchweight bouts outside the UFC.