Deiveson Figueiredo vs Joseph Benavidez 2
Deiveson Figueiredo (-200) (18-1-0)
Figueiredo will be extremely confident coming into this rematch. He knocked Benavidez out with a sharp right cross just over 5 months ago and if he had made weight, he’d be the champion already. He had a clear power advantage, dropping his opponent at the end of the 1st round as well. Even when Benavidez took it to the ground, Figueiredo looked much stronger, out-grappled him and almost took his arm. Figueiredo is a well-rounded fighter and at 32 years old he’s entering the prime of his career. His power makes him a tough matchup for anybody and with another win over Benavidez, he could go on a run atop the flyweight division.
Joseph Benavidez (+160) (28-6-0)
Benavidez is a 9-year UFC veteran and will have to use that experience to make the necessary adjustments. He looked very sharp early on in the first matchup but after he lost the scramble and took a few shots, he lost his composure. Instead of using his footwork, he started lunging in and Figueiredo made him pay for it. He needs to have confidence in his technical ability and drag this fight into the later rounds to have success. If he can pick his shots and use his footwork, he can frustrate Figueiredo and potentially gas him out. With that said, Benavidez appears to be taking this matchup very personally and he’ll have to channel his energy carefully. If he’s able to get the win, Benavidez will get sweet revenge and he can finally call himself a UFC champion.
Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo via KO/TKO
I expect to see a better Benavidez this time around but Figueiredo has too much power; and even though Benavidez has the technical ability to make it competitive, I don’t think he’ll have the composure. Figueiredo dominated all phases of the fight the first time around and Benavidez was in trouble anytime he stepped into range. Despite that, he chose to continuously march into range with his hands down and head out. Even if this fight goes the distance, and even if Figueiredo is out-struck, I expect him to do more damage and take the decision. Take Figueiredo to get the win for a 2nd time in a row.