The former flyweight champion appeared healthy, strong and ready to go hard for all three rounds as he put on a striking display to keep Font off balance throughout the fight. Figueiredo showcased great boxing throughout, which included a devastating body shot that hurt Font badly in the final round.
In the end, Figueiredo got the nod by unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the fight 30-27 in his favor.
“I’m a little sad because I didn’t put on the show of the night tonight,” Figueiredo said afterwards. “It should have been more exchanges and striking. I’m feeling great representing at 135. This show tonight was for you.”
Leading with a slick jab, Font displayed crisp striking in the early exchanges with Figueiredo looking a little trigger shy against a slightly bigger, taller bantamweight. While Figueiredo did look for the takedown early, he finally showed off his power late in the opening round when he tagged Font with a couple of stinging shots that had the Austin crowd reacting rather loudly.
Font stayed in pursuit going into the second round but Figueiredo was showing patience and firing back with great counterstrikes that were starting to find a home on his chin. With time ticking away, Figueiredo rattled off a nasty combination that snapped Font’s head back with arguably the best punches thus far in the fight.
Figueiredo really started to find his range while teeing off on Font with a barrage of strikes on the feet including a body shot that had the New England native on wobbly legs. The Brazilian eventually got the fight down to the ground where he immediately moved to the mount where he began raining down punches and elbows on Font.
While Font was able to scramble back to the guard, he was still eating punishment from Figueiredo, who was putting on a relentless pace from the top. It was more of the same until the fight came to a close with Figueiredo securing the victory in his first official fight at 135 pounds in the UFC.
Figueiredo’s addition to bantamweight immediately injects a new contender into the mix in what is already possibly the UFC’s deepest division. Beating somebody like Font in his first day at 135 pounds will make Figueiredo an interesting matchup for any of the contenders currently ranked in the top 10 in the world.