2020 is going to be remembered fondly for what Deiveson Figueiredo does as the king of the flyweights.
Figueiredo is currently 3-0 for the calendar year with stoppage wins over Joseph Benavidez twice and Alex Perez in his first title defence at UFC 255 and is set to make a 21 day turnaround to defend his title again at December’s UFC 256 pay-per-view against Brandon Moreno.
A win there will likely see him crowned as the fighter of the year but almost certainly as the best flyweight we have seen since the Demetrious Johnson days.
‘Mighty Mouse’ is widely regarded as the greatest flyweight of all time and one of the best mixed martial artists ever pound for pound.
So what happens if you put the best and most dominant flyweight ever, against the scariest and current king of the crop? Lets break it down.
Figueiredo is currently 20-1 throughout his career, with his only defeat coming against Jussier Formiga in a unanimous decision back in March 2019.
His ferocious power and expert grappling make him an incredible threat wherever the fight goes, but he has had issues with the weight in the past.
Prior to the first meeting with Joseph Benavidez, Figueiredo made himself ineligible to win the vacant title after weighing in at 127.5lbs, putting him 2.5lbs over the flyweight limit.
It currently stands as the first and only time he’s ever missed weight but prior to the fight with Perez at UFC 255 he looked very thin during his weigh-in. So much so that during the fight, commentator Joe Rogan passed comment that Figueiredo looked like he weighed about 150lbs in the octagon.
Johnson is arguably the perfect professional, having never had weight issues and winning with pure skill and technique in the majority of his bouts.
With world class wrestling, picture-perfect boxing and top grappling skills he was the epitome of the total package when it comes to fighters.
This bout would likely be all about whether Johnson could avoid the powerful striking of Figueiredo. The ground game would be relatively even, with Figueiredo’s attacks from the bottom likely nullified by the excellent awareness and top game of Johnson should it get to that.
His best bet though in my opinion would be to keep it on the feet and use his boxing. His footwork is tremendous and the ability to grind out wins over five rounds is unprecedented. If there has ever been a flyweight that I’d trust to be able to stick and move away from Figueiredo’s heavy hands for a full 25 minutes it’s absolutely going to be Mighty Mouse.
As the fight goes on and Figueiredo keeps chasing him down, he’ll begin to tire and Johnson should be able to take over even moreso.
The first two round especially are where all the danger is and Figueiredo would be capable of putting out any flyweight’s lights out with one shot but the fight IQ and sheer skill of Mighty Mouse would see him pick up a decision win.