Deiveson Figueiredo is a former UFC world champion and a BJJ black belt, but he recently took on one of his toughest challenges yet when he engaged in a blindfolded grappling match. The match came about because he was appearing at a charity event in Brazil to support the BJJ community, and it included a Para Jiu-Jitsu tournament. Figueiredo ended up taking on Dione Valquiria Silva, a visually-impaired BJJ purple belt and Para Jiu-Jitsu competitor. In order to level the playing field, he was then blindfolded so that he had also had to rely on his other senses in order to grapple with Silva.
Of course, Figueiredo is still a world-class grappler so there’s only so much levelling of the playing field that can be done. He’s a veteran MMA fighter who has used his elite Jiu-Jitsu to incredible effect in fights time and time again, and it’s a big part of how he became a UFC world champion at one point. Figueiredo put together a 17-1 professional MMA record to earn his shot at a UFC title in 2020 and although he knocked out Joseph Benavidez, he was unable to take the belt home as he had missed weight.
Then in the rematch where he made weight and was eligible to win the title, he submitted Benavidez in the very first round to become the UFC flyweight world champion. He successfully defended the belt with another first-round submission win against Alex Perez before engaging in the epic four-fight rivalry that took up all of his time for a little over two years.
Deiveson Figueiredo gave a statement about the blindfolded BJJ match he had immediately after it took place, before he shared footage of it:
One of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in sport, inclusiveness and love for equality. Thank you Dione Valquiria Silva today I learned a lot from you warrior.
The footage of Deiveson Figueiredo engaging in a blindfolded grappling match with the Para Jiu-Jitsu competitor and BJJ purple belt Dione Valquiria Silva was uploaded in a post to his official Instagram account: