After missing his chance to take home the flyweight title in February, underdog Joseph Benavidez could be in a better position this time around.
This will be the second fight between Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) and Joseph Benavidez (28-6), this year. Figueiredo scored a second round KO against Benavidez at Fight Night 169 in February, but was ineligible for the flyweight title as he missed the weight limit by 2.5 pounds. Saturday’s rematch between the division’s two top-ranked fighters will decide the flyweight title, assuming both fighters make weight this time. Figueiredo comes in on the UFC odds as a -250 favourite, while Benavidez is at +185.
Deiveson Figueiredo UFC Fight Night Odds
The story of this fight goes back to Fight Night 169 in February. Originally meant to determine the flyweight champion, Figueiredo missed his weight by 2.5 pounds. Although ineligible for the title, the Brazilian fighter still stopped Benavidez with a controversial second round KO, moments after an accidental head-butt badly cut Benavidez.
The longer the fight goes, the more dangerous Figueiredo will be. He is a strong striker who maintains his power well into the third round. He lands more significant strikes (52 per cent compared to Benavidez’s 33 per cent), but really excels in his grappling ability. Figueiredo edges Benavidez in takedown average per 15 minutes (Figueiredo 1.86, Benavidez 1.45), takedown accuracy (Figueiredo 50 per cent, Benavidez 29 per cent) and submission average per 15 minutes (Figueiredo 2.27, Benavidez 0.6).
The only concern about Figueiredo is his previous Covid-19 diagnosis. After testing positive in what was said to be a false positive test, last week, he is reported to have completely recovered from an earlier bout with Covid-19 and has been deemed healthy and fit to fight. The main concern is if his training was affected in the lead up to this fight.
Joseph Benavidez UFC Fight Night Odds
After missing his chance to take home the flyweight title in February, Benavidez could be in a better position this time around. He will need to learn from last fight, as he likes to stand in the pocket and throw powerful punches in the hopes of connecting and getting a knockout before his opponents have a chance to strike back. Figueiredo seemed to easily absorb these strikes and fire back with powerful shots of his own, in their first fight.
Benavidez has a few tools in his arsenal. While he generally relies on quick and heavy barrage of strikes from the pocket, he also has a strong wrestling background and deceptively dangerous choking ability. To win this fight he is going to need to push the pace from the start. Figueiredo needs to make a heavy weight cut so if Benavidez can keep the intensity high while standing and on the ground, he has a shot at the title.
Figueiredo vs. Benavidez UFC Fight Island 2 Prediction:
Figueiredo won the last fight standing and on the ground. Look for him to take advantage of Benavidez’s open style and watch for a Figueiredo KO.