On paper, it might not make much sense for Deiveson Figueiredo to rematch Joseph Benavidez after knocking him out at the UFC Norfolk mixed martial arts (MMA) event last weekend on ESPN+, but there are a couple of factors to consider, including a clash of heads that may have changed the trajectory of the fight.
Figueiredo failed to make weight for their championship showdown, so we don’t know what kind of advantage the Brazilian had on fight night. In addition, the flyweight title remains vacant and Henry Cejudo still has to get through his bantamweight title defense against Jose Aldo in May before he can entertain a return to 125 pounds.
And it sounds like Team Figueiredo is down for a do-over.
“Joseph Benavidez was a warrior for accepting to fight him one kilo overweight and deserves the rematch,” Figueiredo’s manager, Wallid Ismail, told MMA Fighting. “We like the guy, but on fight week it’s war, man. Since the UFC isn’t satisfied and wants another fight, it’s all good, the war continues. We suggest the same July card where Paulo Costa will fight for the belt against the winner of Adesanya and Romero.”
Adesanya defends his middleweight title against Romero at UFC 248.
It helps that flyweight doesn’t have much to offer in the way of title contenders. No. 2-ranked Jussier Formiga was recently finished by Benavidez and will try to get back into the win column opposite Brandon Moreno later this month in Brazil.
After that comes the No. 4-ranked Alexandre Pantoja, who was beaten by Figueiredo at UFC 240 last summer. Moreno sits in the No. 5 spot so as you can see, there are not a lot of fans screaming for new contenders, simply because they are few and far between.