Despite expressing his desire to move up a weight class, Deiveson Figueiredo will still fight at flyweight at UFC 290.
Former 2+time UFC Flyweight Champion is expected to face Manel Kape at UFC 290. The news was first reported by ESPN Deportes’ Carlos Legaspi before confirmation from MMA Fighting and MMA Junkie.
This will be the first fight for Deiveson Figueiredo since December 2020 against an opponent other than Brandon Moreno. Figueiredo and Moreno fought over UFC Flyweight Championship 4 times between December 2020 and January 2023.
The series started with a draw at UFC 256 in Abu Dhabi after a frantic back-and-forth fight between them. Thanks to this draw, Figueiredo was able to hold onto the flyweight title. Moreno defeated Figueiredo via submission at UFC 263 to win the title before Figueiredo won it back at UFC 270 in January 2022. Moreno ended this rivalry by beating Figueiredo at UFC 283 in Brazil to win the title for the second time.
In his post-fight interview at UFC 283, Figueiredo expressed that he is having a hard time making 125 lbs weight for the flyweight division and would like to move up to bantamweight. However, the reports suggest that he remains in 125 lbs division for now.
Manel Kape, ranked at #9 in UFC Flyweight Rankings, will be entering this fight on a 3-fights winning streak. After his fights were canceled 3 times in 2020, Kape lost his first two fights in 2021 – first against Alexander Pantoja and then a short-notice fight against Matheus Nicolau.
Kape has since defeated Ode’ Osbourne and Zhalgas Zhumagulov in 2021 before he saw 2 more of his fights being canceled in first half of 2022. He returned to octagon in December 2022 to defeat David Dvořák via unanimous decision.
Figueiredo vs Kape is the fourth bout said to be finalized by UFC for UFC 290 PPV. A featherweight title unification bout between Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez, a flyweight title bout between Brandon Moreno and Alexander Pantoja and Bo Nickal vs Tresean Gore middleweight bout is also reported to be finalized for the show.