Figueiredo: Garbrandt 'in decline,' flyweight not for him
Former UFC champion Deiveson Figueiredo believes Cody Garbrandt's best days are behind him and that "No Love" should consider returning to the bantamweight division.
Garbrandt, who was once booked to challenge Figueiredo for the flyweight title in 2020, made his 125-pound debut in December in a first-round TKO loss to Kai Kara-France.
"I really expected more," Figueiredo told MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz in Portuguese, as translated by Cruz. "It became clear that this division is not for him. He has to stay in his weight class. It's clear he gets weaker, physically speaking, going down in weight."
Figueiredo added that it would even make more sense for Garbrandt to entertain a move up to the featherweight division rather than continue to compete at flyweight.
Garbrandt has said he's open to both flyweight and bantamweight for his next fight.
The 30-year-old won only one of six bouts since he captured the UFC bantamweight title in 2016 against Dominick Cruz in what's considered one of the best performances in UFC history. Four of those losses ended in knockouts.
As a result of the losing streak, Figueiredo doesn't see the two ever fighting and thinks the former champ is "totally in decline."
However, he doesn't think Garbrandt is completely done yet.
"Since he's a boxer and likes boxing, it would be good for him to box, to make that transition," Figueiredo said. "He's too young to think about retirement. He's still got wood left to burn - in MMA (too).
"But flyweight is not for him. That message was very clear."