Deiveson Figueiredo defeated Joseph Benavidez tonight — but he didn’t win the world title.
Figueiredo had missed weight on Friday, but still performed exceptionally well, landing a huge right hand to drop Benavidez in the second before a few follow-up shots ended the bout. Speaking after the contest, he apologised for the weight miss (he hit the scales at 127.5-pounds).
“I am sorry for missing weight, but I told everybody I want to give a big show because you guys deserve a big main event,” Figueiredo said through an interpreter.
Due to his weight miss, Figueiredo was ineligible to win the title, which will now be vacant going forward. Prior to tonight, Henry Cejudo had been the 125-pound champion, but hasn’t defended his title in some time after winning the bantamweight championship last year. He’ll defend that title in Brazil against Jose Aldo.
It once again raises questions about the future of the 125-pound weight class inside the UFC. For a moment, it had seemed as if UFC president Dana White was looking into closing the division, and the number of flyweights signed by the promotion dropped dramatically.
Cejudo’s ability to garner attention had changed the UFC bosses mind, but now with a vacant title and no obvious step forward, it could once again find itself on the chopping block.