Francisco Figueiredo’s first two UFC appearances came with mixed results, coming out on the right and wrong side of two unanimous decisions.
Heading into UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera, the 32-year-old’s goal is to get back in the win column and stop leaving his results in the hands of the judges. To make that happen, Figueiredo knew he had to stop listening to the outside noise and follow his instincts.
As the brother of current flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo, there was some added pressure that made Figueiredo fight out of character at times. When he faces Daniel da Silva this weekend, he’s confident that he’s going to be feeling free and finally feeling like himself.
“The best tools you can have inside the cage is your mind, your spirit, and your heart,” Figueiredo told UFC.com. “I want to let my game flow and be truthful to myself.”
Fixing the flaws in his game was the main focus of Figueiredo’s camp for da Silva. He tuned up his boxing and pushed himself to determine how he can find that perfect flow state in the fight. He’s also excited that da Silva is the type of fighter to come forward and engage.
He believes that da Silva’s striking-first style is going to bring out the best version of Francisco Figueiredo yet.
“They’ll say I’m a new fighter and they’ll see a different man fighting,” Figueiredo said. “I promise a great show and you won’t regret watching it.”
In his UFC debut, da Silva ran into a buzzsaw in rising flyweight Jeff Molina. He had some good moments in the fight, however, showing that he absolutely belongs competing with the talented group of athletes at 125 pounds.
He took some time away from the Octagon and was able to fully prepare for this fight with Figueiredo. And even though he’s taken time to improve, Figueiredo is determined to force da Silva into making the same mistakes he did against Molina.
“He has an offensive game, he gets too exposed and leaves some openings,” Figueiredo said. “That makes it easier for me to counter and land my shots.”
Getting his first UFC finish this weekend would go a long way in properly announcing Figueiredo’s presence in the landscape at flyweight. The champion has encouraged him that his hard work will pay off if he thrives in the process of training camp and fight week.
“I’m just very happy and excited and I’m loving every minute of being here,” Figueiredo said. “I was looking forward to fighting and having this feeling again. I’m truly happy.”
The fight is the easy part. Figueiredo just needs to be himself.
UFC Fight Night: Font vs Vera, took place on Saturday, April 30, 2022, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!