Deiveson Figueiredo isn’t keen to showing up for a fourth title match against Brandon Moreno. The two have shared one of the best trilogies in recent history having traded belts for the past three encounters.
Back at UFC 256, Figueiredo retained his title after a draw with Moreno.
After the draw, the UFC scheduled an instant rematch between the two. During the co-main event of UFC 263, Moreno was able to outclass the Brazilian and win the title by submitting Figueiredo in the third round.
The promotion then decided to run it back one more time. In the co-main event of UFC 270, Figueiredo won back the title after he an unanimous decision victory against Moreno.
But many believe that their last encounter was so close that Moreno was the actual winner.
Initially even Figueiredo thought it would be appropriate to book Moreno for a fourth bout between the two rivals.
“The [third] fight was phenomenal, the doors are open for Moreno,” Figueiredo told Joe Rogan during his post-fight interview. “I’m ready for a fourth fight against Brandon in Mexico.”
However, weeks after, Figueiredo apparently changed his mind.
In an instagram post Figueiredo addressed UFC president Dana White and wrote:
“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. Until his Team crossed the line with racist comments. Calling me a monkey and even going to the extent of photo shopping a monkeys face on top of mine. You know what I’m talking about @raul_entram”
Figueiredo went on to tag one of Moren’s coaches – Raul Arvizu. Arvizu is rumored to be the one he’s accusing of perpetually racist behavior.
Despite being rightly bothered by the racist remark, Figueiredo has a close relationship with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. During Bolsonaro’s first presidential campaign, he once declared that a village of descendants of Afro-Brazilian slaves was filled with “worthless” people, and went on to say that the Afro-Brazilian inhabitants were not even worth an “arroba” (arroba is a Portuguese unit of weight usually used to measure the weight of animals).
Recently, Figueiredo ignored Moreno and openly called out the next in line in the UFC Flyweight rankings. Following his decision victory over Askar Askarov during UFC on ESPN+ 63, Kai Kara-France jumped fours positions in the rankings and now sits at number two, only one behind Brandon Moreno.
Figueiredo called him out on a Twitter post where he said:
“Congratulations you dirty kiwi @kaikarafrance, you just punched your ticket with the God of War.” The Brazilian wrote.
“Kiwi” is is a common nickname used to reference New-Zealanders. Despite not having the same racial implication as calling a black person a monkey, calling someone a “dirty kiwi” while also decrying racism is certainly tonedeaf, to say the last.