Figueiredo and Garbrandt Set for UFC 300 Showdown

January 12, 2024
2 months

Dana White is trying to make UFC 300 the biggest card in the promotion’s history. While not officially announced just yet, it is widely expected that a fight between Deiveson Figueiredo and Cody Garbrandt will be announced for the event.

Bantamweight Battle for the Ages

The God of War, Deiveson Figueiredo, is a specimen of the UFC bantamweight division. Not many fighters can have four fights with the same opponent, Brandon Moreno, and keep it engaging for the fight fans. That Brazil-Mexico rivalry has been put to bed with losing the UFC strap to his nemesis early last year. After winning his subsequent fight, Figueiredo’s keen to show everyone why he’s the man who’s next in line for a title shot.

There aren’t too many better ways of doing that than defeating a former champion. Cody Garbrandt is a resilient fighter who has fluttered between bantamweight and flyweight. He held the UFC bantamweight championship for less than a year as he lost it in his first defense. Many fight fans and MMA news websites expected him to have a much longer tenure at the top. There’d be no better stage than UFC 300 to show that Garbrandt still has the capacity to fight at the top of the company’s rankings.

There’s scope to work out which weight these two will fight at but realistically, with Figueiredo being the A side, it will most likely be on his terms on his bantamweight desires.

Does Figueiredo Earn a Title Fight?

MMA news sites will be pondering the exact ramifications if Figueiredo wins this fight at UFC 300. How does the roadmap unravel if Figueiredo gets the W here? He’s currently ranked #8 in the bantamweight division, so realistically, even if he gets an empathic win against Garbrandt, Figueiredo might just be outside the championship calling. Sean O’Malley is the current bantamweight champion, set to defend the belt at UFC 299 against Marlon Vera. Whichever one of those men wins the fight will see Figueiredo on the horizon, for sure.

Figueiredo could in theory fight the loser of that fight, Henry Cejudo, Merab Dvalishvili, or even Cory Sandhagen if successful at UFC 300. If he were able to succeed in that fight, there would be no denying that he deserves a chance at the championship belt.

In the flyweight division, Figueiredo defined success. It’s just a shame that he ended up on the wrong side of the Brandon Moreno feud with two losses, one win, and a draw. At flyweight, he secured the fastest submission, the most knockdowns, a five-match winning streak and, of course, held the belt twice. In theory, Figueiredo didn’t have to change to bantamweight. The only problem is that if he were to entertain the flyweights again, he’d probably end up fighting Brandon Moreno for a fifth time. That’s because his adversary has since dropped the belt, meaning that he’d want to prove he’s worth a title shot. While the UFC can sell a lot of rematches, Moreno vs. Figueiredo V doesn’t have the same allure as the prior four fights.

Garbrandt Needs a Big Win Like This

Garbrandt went on a sizable downward spiral after losing his championship. Three straight losses put him on the back burner of the division. Then Garbrandt unsuccessfully tried his hand at flyweight, suffering a first-round KO loss, forcing him to return to bantamweight after more than a year off.

This fight at UFC 300 is the first time since 2017 that Garbrandt enters a match off the back of two straight wins. He stood tall against Trevin Jones in March 2023 to earn a decision victory and then announced that he still had his power in December as he delivered a strong knockout punch to finish Brian Kelleher in the first round at UFC 296. Those victories are very nice and will help Garbrandt sleep better at night, but if he’s going to mount a serious title run again, he needs a big win against someone at least in the top 15 fighters within the division.

Winning against Deiveson Figueiredo is exactly that. He’s even within the top ten, meaning that however Garbrandt won out, he would enter the rankings. He will still need to put some groundwork in to get a title shot, but this would most certainly set him on his way.

Blood and Thunder as Both Look for KO

One of the reasons why this fight jumps off the card is that both fighters go for it in the cage. Out of Garbrandt’s 14 career victories, 11 of them have come by way of knockout. He usually doesn’t have to get the judges involved. Interestingly, Garbrandt’s never once tapped out or been made to do so during his career. Even though he’s slipped down the official UFC standings, his propensity to give his all for a finish has endured Garbrandt to the fight community.

Figueiredo might not be as ‘blood and thunder’ as his American opponent, but he still doesn’t like being in the cage any longer than he has to. From his 22 career wins, Figueiredo finished 17 of them earlier than the final bell. Nine by KO, eight by submission. Could he lock in a telling submission to make Garbrandt tap for the first time? Or does Figueiredo trade blows with him to secure another KO?

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