Joseph Benavidez had something to say when it comes down to Brandon Moreno vs. Deveison Figueiredo.
Benavidez Is Happy For His Division
The 4X UFC Flyweight title challenger might not be in the title picture anymore, but he has plenty of insight regarding the next showdown for the strap. He’s more than happy to see the flyweights getting some shine.
“I’m happy,” Benavidez said on MMA on SiriusXM. “It’s so satisfying to see people excited about this division. that’s kind of always just been what I’ve worked for. Since the beginning, [it was] always feeling like we were fighting an uphill battle— to see us now on like a big pay-per-view event. To co-main for the heavyweights and have people be excited for it. Great people to look forward to fighting, like Brandon and Deveison.”
Benavidez isn’t just a random retired fighter analyzing the trilogy fight between Moreno and Figueiredo. He has shared spent time working with both. Benavidez coached Moreno years ago on season 24 of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ back in 2016.
Their journey wouldn’t end there on TUF. No, it just began. Benavidez would bring in Moreno to help him train against Henry Cejudo later that year.
Benavidez’s relationship with Deveison Figueiredo would be quite the opposite. The UFC veteran would get two chances to get UFC gold, but fall short of it each time at the hands of Figueiredo. ‘The God of War’ would finish Benavidez by KO and then by brutal submission.
Brandon Moreno Has The Momentum
Having spent time with both fighters, Benavidez would break it all down.
“I feel like the momentum is going in Brandon’s way.” Benavidez continued. “With the finish and the last fight. I think he kind of came out of that first fight, like took everything Figueiredo had and lost any fear he maybe ever had of Figueiredo.
Just kind of like, there’s nothing to be scared of. [He] took his best shots, went through a war— there’s nothing to be scared of. Obviously finished him in the second fight. So I feel the momentum is going his way.
Learning From The Loss
With the former champ Figueiredo losing his belt, he has to make some big changes so the result doesn’t repeat.
Like Zhang Weili, Figueiredo would pack up his bags and move to Arizona after losing the title. He would get in some work with former champ-champ Henry Cejudo at Fight Ready MMA. The rejuvenated Brazilian looks to ‘take Moreno’s head’ for betraying his ex-friend Cejudo.
“Figueiredo has made changes and that’s kind of what you have to do after you lose. It’s not like he lost and now he’s going to do the same thing with the same team, with the same diet, with the same everything. His weight is already good which has been one of his problems in the past. But now working with like Henry Cejudo and the team over there, he seems like he’s on the right path with that.
“Him doing something different is makes it very more interesting than the other fight. But like I said, I think that momentum’s going Brandon’s way.”
We’ll see how the momentum goes the third time around, when Brandon Moreno defends his title against Deveison Figueiredo at UFC 270.