Deiveson Figueiredo’s Support of Jair Bolsonaro Sets Dangerous Precedent

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In 2020, the world was introduced to the largest stage that election denial has ever seen when a former President of the United State of America denied the results of his country’s election. Donald Trump took election denials from social media all the way to the doorsteps and even inside the United States Capitol building. 

It appears former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has achieved the same feat with his supporters in his country’s capital city of Brasilia.

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What Deiveson Figueiredo’s Support of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Actually Means

The storming of the Brazilian capitol by right-wing Bolsonaro supporters was something that was brewing for a long time in one of the world’s largest democracies. Brazil has one of the largest registered voter totals with over 156 million on record. That large voting population supported Bolsonaro in 2018 when he first decided to run for president after serving in his country’s congress.

He received a massive 55% of the vote and was voted in as president after a tumultuous and controversial campaign. Those types of campaigns became a bit too normal in recent years, again which can be tied to what Donald Trump was able to do while running in the United State of America. He had an interesting campaign but it is arguably nothing compared to what Bolsonaro was able to achieve while saying what he said.

Jair Bolsonaro is More Than Election Denials 

Jair Bolsonaro drew comparisons to Donald Trump long before his supporters stormed the Brazilian capitol. While some of those comparisons are fair, the danger each presents with their actions and voices is drastically different.

In the case of Baslonaro, he is more than just election denials. Before he was President of Brazil, he was a member of his country’s congress. During his time there he drew attention due to his drastic policy ideas but also for comments he would make, specifically to a female he didn’t agree with. 

In December of 2014, Brazil’s attorney general filed a criminal complaint against him due to him telling a colleague as she left the podium while speaking to “Stay here, Maria do Rosário. Stay! A while ago, you called me a rapist in the Green Room and I said: ‘I won’t rape you because you’re not worth it.’ Stay here. Listen!”

It was the second time Jair Bolsonaro had used that specific example of violence in Congress during his tenure. In what is supposed to be the country’s highest forum for debate it constantly turnover into an episode of Jerry Springer more often than not. That does not excuse the comments but rather shows that that stage was primed for Bolsonaro to live in and thrive.

Another dark example of just how extreme and ignorant Bolsonaro can be is him going on record as saying he would rather have a “dead son than a gay one.” The hate and disrespect for human life that comes from delivering that statement are borderline insane. Wishing death on anyone for any reason is troublesome but when you have a leader making those statements it curves the entire way the country acts and feels. 

Sadly this is not too far off from Chechen Dictator and War Criminal Ramzan Kadyrov and his policy surrounding sexual orientation. His words and actions have never deterred UFC legends and fighters from his side, and it has not for Bolsonaro either.

Now That You Know the Man, Get to Know His High Profile Supporters 

As mentioned above, Chechen leader Kadyrov has strong ties to the sport of MMA but specifically the UFC. His ties to Khabib Nurmagomaedov, Khamzat Chimaev, and Zabit Magomedsharipov are just a few of the high-profile names but don’t include the regional or up-and-coming fighters he has in the weeds. Those fighters success’ are his own in a way. 

For Jair Bolsonaro, the success of UFC legends and current champions who are in his corner gives his words more weight and allows them to find their way into more ears.

UFC legend and bantamweight fighter Jose Aldo has the most glaring tie to the former president. In fact, when the Biden Administration was getting heat for allowing him in the country as he planned his military coup, it turned out the planning for the said uprising was coming from inside Aldo’s house

Aldo was not just supporting Bolsanaro but he in fact was allowing him to turn his house into a stronghold for an insurrection to overthrow his own country’s democratic process.

This all comes full circle now as Deiveson Figueiredo will be defending his UFC flyweight championship on Saturday against Brandon Moreno at UFC 283. He has been a vocal supporter of Bolsanaro by sharing messages on social media and lies regarding the democratic process. It could be argued that these messages being shared not only spread disinformation but incite violent actions such as the ones recommended by the Brazilian Armed Force members that Figueiredo shared.

Most of Bolsonaro’s supporters agree with those conservative, far-right views and this is why they have been asking for the Brazilian Armed Forces to take action.

The UFC and MMA Community are Not Like Any Other

Just like with anything, you want to avoid stereotypes when grouping people together but what we have seen from the MMA community in 2023 is very troublesome. There have been voices in the media such as Brian Campbell, Karim Zidan, Luke Thomas, Jeff Wagenheim, and Shaheen Al-Shatti, to name a few, but some media have just rolled over on these serious topics.

The fans, do not get me started on how disappointing some of your comments have been especially surrounding the Dana White slap incident. 

Freedom of speech is paramount to basic human rights, which is not up for discussion, but when that is used that does not mean there is freedom from repercussion. 

The MMA media and fans need to be more critical, they need to be better. 

While the NBA certainly has its flaws they at least attempted to hold Kyrie Irving accountable for sharing anti-Semitic media sentiments on social media. Irving was suspended and fined for his actions, not suggesting that Figueiredo faces the same discipline but it is on MMA media to ask the right questions this week.

We do not need the Schmo asking the champion what he thinks of Moreno for wearing boxers versus briefs, or fans asking drunk questions surrounding the event, we need journalism. Now more than ever this time in MMA journalism can see a renaissance of sorts and lead to actual coverage that puts the sport further into the legitimate category instead of relying on TV deals to do that for it.

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