Figueiredo (20-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC), who retained his title after his fight with Moreno was ruled a majority draw, revealed that he was battling a stomach infection that had him hospitalized just one day before the fight.
Speaking to ESPN, Figueiredo, who had finished three of his past four opponents in the first round, thinks he would have made quick work of Moreno had he not entered the fight in a compromised state.
“If I’m not sick, I knock him out or submit him in the first round, that’s a promise,” Figueiredo said through his manager, Wallid Ismail. “I’m much stronger, I’m much faster.”
Figueiredo said prior to the fight, he had some soup that caused him a major stomach infection and forced him to make two separate trips to the hospital.
“When he ate the soup, everything fell apart,” Ismail said. “He threw up and the nightmare started. It was 30 hours of nightmare. We went directly to the hospital.”
Ismail said after Figueiredo’s first hospital visit, he went back to his hotel room to sleep but woke up with a bloated stomach that prompted a second trip to the hospital at 2:30 a.m.
“His belly was this size,” Ismail said with his hands extended. “(He had) a lot of gas infection. Everybody was like, ‘He’s not going to fight.’ I called the UFC and said, ‘Hey man, the guy is really bad right now.’”
The morning of the fight, Figueiredo started to feel better, but knew due to his weakened state, he had to finish the fight quickly.
But Moreno (18-5-2 MMA, 6-2-2 UFC) hung tough and the two battled it out in a five-round “Fight of the Year” contender that was ruled a majority draw. Figueiredo was deducted a point in the fight for an inadvertent low blow, which helped lead to the draw.
“My feeling in the locker room was like an animal – furious, like a tiger,” Figueiredo said. “My mindset was to knock out the guy. … But unfortunately, (I) couldn’t do it.”
UFC president Dana White, who was in awe of the flyweights’ showcase, said the plan is to book an immediate rematch between Figueiredo and Moreno sometime next year.