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Deiveson Figueiredo eyes ‘legend’ Dominick Cruz for bantamweight debut

Deiveson Figueiredo, the former UFC flyweight champion, is making a bold move by transitioning to the bantamweight division. And he's not wasting any time calling out one of the best in the business - Dominick Cruz.

In an interview with the MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca, Figueiredo expressed his interest in fighting Cruz and labeled him as a "legend". He went on to say that he wants to fight the best in the division, and he believes that Cruz is one of them.

“I’ve talked to my manager after the fight, and we came to the conclusion that Dominick Cruz would be a great fight. It would be a great first fight at 135. He’s a former champion, I’m a former champion, so it would be a guy with a name and high level to welcome me at 135. That would be great.”

Figueiredo is eager to start competing in the bantamweight division and isn't interested in spending any time waiting. He intends to swiftly put the division on alert by defeating the former world champion and obtain a crack at the division title before age starts wearing him down. He is currently 35 years old.

With victories over athletes like Moreno, Joseph Benavidez (x2), Alexandre Pantoja, Tim Elliott, John Moraga, and Alex Perez, the 35-year-old phenom has a 21-3-1 overall record in the sport.

Since his fourth encounter with Brandon Moreno in January, "Deus Da Guerra" has been inactive. The contest was significant because it was the very first occasion in the promotion record that two competitors faced off 4 times. Sadly, the Brazilian's experience didn't turn out so well.

The former champion declared his intention to advance after losing to Moreno. Figueiredo has often hinted that he might jump up to bantamweight, but now he appears to be serious about the transition.

Urijah Faber, a former WEC champion who gave Cruz his first defeat in the sport back in 2007, now serves as Figueredo's co-manager. Given this background, "Deus da Guerra" declared that facing Dominick with Urijah Faber by my side would be a thrill.

“Dominick moves a lot and we know we would have to cut his movement,” Figueiredo said of a potential bout between the two. “I would 100 percent explore that and train a lot of wrestling. I’ve been training jiu-jitsu a lot and would train a lot of wrestling too, especially defensive wrestling. Dude is a legend and I know he’s an excellent fighter, he can take people down. I’d block his takedowns and box him hard.”

Cruz, who lost against Marlon "Chito" Vera in August 2022, is trying to turn things around at the moment. Cruz defeated Pedro Munhoz and Casey Kenney by decision before being dropped by Marlon Vera. Although having just suffered a devastating knockout loss, the seventh-ranked bantamweight believes he still has enough gas in the tank. And even at 38, he's still one of the most technically sound fighters in the sport.

So, will we see Figueiredo vs. Cruz soon? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure - if these two fighters do meet inside the Octagon, it's going to be a fight for the ages.


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