Opinion: “Don’t Sleep On This” UFC Lincoln Edition – John Moraga vs. Deiveson Figueiredo

“Don’t Sleep on This Fight” is a new segment I’m going to try and pump out leading up to every card about a fighter and/or matchup that should not be missed (a.k.a slept on). This week, the UFC returns this weekend to Lincoln, Nebraska after a 3-week break. We have two flyweights on three-fight winning streaks that will clash on the main card. Someone’s streak has to end.

Justin Gaethje and James Vick finally put their trash talk to rest when they face off in a much-anticipated 5-round lightweight main event, but the undercard offers a lot of fun and important matchups in all divisions. I’m taking some time to talk about a pivotal flyweight matchup, especially since we just crowned our second only flyweight champion ever at UFC 227 – Henry Cejudo. Will this division open up now that the flyweight king has been unseated? It’s hard to think that other rising flyweights, including journeyman and former title challenger John Moraga, doesn’t smell blood in the water.

After a three-fight losing streak, John Moraga has reeled off decision wins against Ashkan Mokhtarian and former title challenger Wilson Reis as well as a performance of the night knockout win against former WSOF champion Magomed Bibulatov. This is Moraga’s first three-fight winning streak and he hopes to have that continue against Brazilian Deiveson Figueiredo.

After suffering only his second loss to then-champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC on FOX 8 in 2013, Moraga went 3-4, losing to the likes of contenders John Dodson, Joseph Benavidez and Sergio Pettis before putting together the biggest win streak of his career. It’s hard to argue against a title shot for Moraga if he can win this fight in a dominant fashion.

Deiveson Figueiredo is “quietly” on a win streak of his own. After coming into the UFC with an 11-0 record, Figueiredo has improved to 14-0 with wins over Marco Beltran, Jarred Brooks and Joseph Morales. This will be Figueiredo’s first fight outside of Brazil and his toughest opponent to date. Picking up a win against an opponent like Moraga and extending his undefeated streak will be a surefire way for Figueiredo to enter title challenger talks.

The main card for UFC Lincoln goes off on Fox Sports 1 @ 10:00PM ET/7:00PM PT.

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