UFC Flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo, revealed that despite being a title-holder for the promotion he wasn’t getting a cut of the pay-per-view (PPV) sales. But now it looks like UFC has granted him his wish according to his manager.
UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo kicked off 2021 with two special requests in mind. First, he wanted to get paid an extra going forward, making dollars based on pay-per-view sales. Second, he called for a catchweight fight with Henry Cejudo for a special “Baddest Motherfucker” belt.
One of the two has already been granted by the promotion, Figueiredo’s longtime manager Wallid Ismail told MMA Fighting.
“I remember as it was today,” Ismail said. “I told [UFC matchmaker] Mick Maynard, ‘This guy will bring back the power to the flyweight division. He fights to kill his opponents, not to score points.’ And he trusted us and kept the division. Deiveson started to put on a show, and this last fight was his coronation.
“The guy was sick and still fought so the pay-per-view wouldn’t lose its main event. It was a draw but saw it as a win for us, and now they said he deserves the pay-per-view [points]. The UFC values a complete athlete, one that sells. You can’t be good but not sell. That’s why selling matters so much. That’s what I always tell my athletes.”
Figueiredo has been open about his desire for a better contract in the wake of his incredible 2020 that has seen him crowned as “Fighter of the Year” by many MMA analysts. The Brazilian went 3-0-1 last year, with two wins over Joseph Benavidez by stoppage, a quick finish over Alex Perez, and an absolute war with Brandon Moreno that was a “Fight of the Year” candidate in itself. However, Figueiredo wasn’t getting pay-per-view points for those bouts.
When Figueiredo revealed he wasn’t getting PPV points, it surprised a lot of people as many assumed he had them in his contract. After all, Figueiredo headlined UFC 255 and UFC 256 as the flyweight champion, and typically, UFC champions get bonus money depending on how many PPVs are sold. However, Figueiredo wasn’t getting these bonuses. You can see why he was so frustrated after UFC president Dana White passed him up for 50k at UFC 255.
Figueiredo’s manager Talks about his fighters importance in the UFC
Deiveson went 3-0-1 this past year with a trio of finishes over Joseph Benavidez (twice) and Alex Perez, turning around and re-entering the cage three weeks later to close the year with an epic “Fight of the Year”-candidate clash with Brandon Moreno, ruled a majority draw by cageside judges.
“Deus da Guerra” headlined cards in all four appearances in 2020, the final two being in pay-per-view shows. For Ismail, Figueiredo has everything the UFC was looking for in a 125-pound champion.
“People have to understand that MMA is a business,” Ismail said. “I have a great relationship with the UFC because I understand their side. If an athlete doesn’t sell…They didn’t have lighter fighters headlining pay-per-views before, they would go to Fight Nights because they didn’t sell. But when Deiveson started putting on a show and showing that flyweights have power, that he has charisma…
“His life story is the best. His life story shows that it doesn’t matter where you’re from, from Africa or in the middle of the Amazon rainforest — which is his case — or Western Europe, you can become UFC champion if you train hard and is focused. Deiveson proved it. The way he acts, his charisma, his authenticity — and knocking people out, which is the most important of all. He goes there and puts on a show.”
Figueiredo wants to get in the octagon with Moreno again next and leave “no doubt,” but first both fighters still need to recover from the injuries sustained in the 25-minute war. According to Ismail, Figueiredo is currently targeting May for his third title defense.
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