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Joseph Benavidez doesn’t want to just beat Deiveson Figueiredo, he wants to hurt him, embarrass him, and make him cry

UFC on FOX: Benavidez v Uyenoyama Photo by Ezra Shaw/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will crown a new flyweight champion in the UFC Fight Island 2 main event, contested between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo this Sat. night (July 18, 2020) on ESPN+ from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.

Benavidez lost to Figueiredo in the UFC Norfolk headliner earlier this year, but the fight was a bundle of controversy. The Brazilian missed weight, making him ineligible to win the title, then landed an illegal head butt en route to a technical knockout finish.

Then came rumors that “Daico” was bragging about the way he clowned “Joe Jitsu” during their first go-round, followed by an overall indifference about missing weight. That’s pretty much all Benavidez needed to hear to get fired up for this weekend’s rematch.

“What I felt after the last fight and the way it went about, not necessarily in the most fair way, it just makes me actually want to hurt him,” Benavidez told ESPN. “Fighting is hurting people, but it makes me want to hurt him. I want you to hurt. I want you to feel dizzy when you get up every day and not know if your concussions are going to go away. I want you to freaking cry and be embarrassed and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, that is a different feeling towards this fight. Typically I don’t have that toward an opponent. I’m like, ‘Hey if I win, I win. If I hurt him, obviously that’s what we’re trained to do.’ But for this one, that’s the difference.”

Benavidez (28-6) entered their first contest on the strength of a 9-1 record, dating back to his Demetrious Johnson fight back in late 2013. “Joe Jitsu” was widely considered one of the top contenders at 125 pounds, having also notched a victory over retired double champion Henry Cejudo.

As for Figueiredo (18-1), he’s been equally dominant in the flyweight division, racking up five violent finishes in seven wins inside the Octagon. The Brazilian is three years younger than his American counterpart and has yet to be stopped in 19 professional fights.

It’s hard to know if Benavidez will bring that emotion into the Octagon or whether or not it will affect his performance on fight night. If their first encounter was any indication, it would not be outrageous to suggest “Joe Jitsu” could use a little extra hostility when the cage door closes in Abu Dhabi.

To see who else is competing at UFC on Fight Island 2 click here.