The Figueiredo family is about to have one more of its members join the UFC. Following in on his older sibling’s footsteps, flyweight Francisco Figueiredo – the baby brother of division champion Deiveson Figueiredo – is about to make his Octagon debut next Wednesday at UFC Fight Island 8.
Paired up against Jerome Rivera, Francisco’s debut is a long-awaited one, especially for his own brother. In an interview with Portal do Vale Tudo, Deiveson expects nothing but greatness from his younger sibling in the Octagon. In fact, Figueiredo believes Francisco is about to make history once he starts his UFC career.
“I give him three, four fights before he becomes one of the best in the UFC. You can be sure of that. MMA lovers better believe it that my brother is joining the best promotion in the world to make history. He’ll be among the best soon enough.”
In fact, Figueiredo has so much faith in his brother’s skills he is not afraid to compare himself to some of the best names in the UFC today. When asked about what can be expected of Francisco in his debut, Deiveson’s answer was surprisising, comparing his sibling to the current middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya.
“He trains with me, he’s my sparring partner. He’s really tough. Every time we spar, I feel it. Sometimes I come home stressed out because I couldn’t do what I wanted against him. We’ve been studying Rivera. He likes pitter-patter shots. He likes to caress his opponents. That’s not how we do it. We don’t play like that.”
“You better believe it Junior (Francisco) is going out there to dominate him.” Deiveson continued. “If it hits the ground, it’ll be even worse for Rivera, Junior is 100% better than him on the ground. We are real blackbelts. We train with the best. When it comes to striking, that’s what we do. I see him as copy of Adesanya against Rivera.”
Francisco Rivera (11-3-1-1 NC) approaches his Octagon debut coming off a unanimous draw in his last outing, against Eduardo Silva, in September 2019. Before that, the 31-year-old was on a two-fight winning streak, beating both Manoel Moreira and Vitor Leandro via TKO on the Brazilian circuit.
Now, Figueiredo is expected to take on Rivera at UFC Fight Island 8, on January 20, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a welterweight bout between Michael Chiesa and Neil Magny.