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UFC champ Deiveson Figueiredo cites 2021 racist social media posts from Brandon Moreno’s teammate in request for new opponent

Jason Burgos

UFC flyweight king Deiveson Figueiredo is using racially insensitive posts from last year by Brandon Moreno’s teammates as the reason for no longer being interested in a fourth fight with the Mexican star.

On Monday night, the Brazilian took to his Instagram account to post an image hyping a possible bout against flyweight contender Kai Kara-France. The fight idea was a bit surprising because the expectation has been that Figueiredo would face Moreno in a fourth title clash after their trilogy bout in January was once again hotly contested, and controversial in the eyes of some.

  • Deiveson Figueiredo record: 21-2-1 (9 knockouts, 8 submissions)

However, in the caption for the image, “Daico” revealed that he has soured on a fourth bout, because of the posts made last June by former Moreno teammate Marcelo Rojo. In the post, Rojo — who is also on the UFC roster — photoshopped the Brazilian’s head out of an image and replaced it with that of a monkey.

Deiveson Figueiredo brings up old news to get out of fourth title fight against Brandon Moreno

“Dear [UFC President Dana White], I just wanted to say thank you for the opportunities that you have given me, my family, and my country. You know that I would fight anybody, anytime and anywhere. That’s being said, I wanted to fight Brandon Moreno for the 4th time because I know this is what the fans want,” Figueiredo wrote.

“Until his Team crossed the line with racist comments. Calling me a monkey and even going to the extent of photoshopping a monkey’s face on top of mine. You know what I’m talking about @raul_entram. When all this happened I went on a campaign to stop racist and prejudice in my city where it is predominately Indians and blacks,” he continued. “As the UFC Champion of the world, I ask you to consider my wish. I wish to fight the next contender in line [Kai Kara-France] who has earned his spot. #stoptherasicm #weareone.”

The incident occurred last June before the pairs championship rematch. Rojo apologized at the time and Moreno and UFC boss Dana White publicly stated their disapproval of the image. Moreno would go on to win the bout by third-round submission.

Kara-France has jumped into the title conversation after winning three straight fights. The last of which came this past weekend at UFC Columbus when he beat top-five 125-pounder Askar Askarov by unanimous decision. The New Zealander is now ranked second in the division behind Moreno.

Is Figueiredo ducking a fourth Moreno fight?

deiveson figueiredo, brandon moreno, ufc
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Moreno’s camp pushing hard for a fourth bout since the third earlier this year, the 34-year-old Figueiredo has not been as adamant about it. The fact that he is bringing up a situation from a year ago that had seemed long settled all of a sudden certainly gives the impression he doesn’t want another go around with the man he barely beat in the two wins he has over him.

  • Bradon Moreno record: 19-6-2 (3 knockouts, 11 submissions)