Deiveson Figueiredo will try to repeat history later this evening (Sat., July 18, 2020) at UFC Fight Island 2 live on ESPN+ from inside Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, when he attempts to take out veteran Joseph Benavidez in their main event rematch to claim the vacant UFC flyweight title.
Remember, Figueiredo defeated Benavidez via second-round TKO in their first meeting this past February, but a botched weight cut prevented the Brazilian from claiming UFC gold.
With a successful weight cut behind him this time around and a familiar foe in front of him later tonight at UFC Fight Island 2, Figueiredo is hoping to expose Benavidez again and prove the first knockout finish was legit.
“Benavidez has plenty of flaws, he can’t attack while walking backward,” Figueiredo told Combate. “I’m going to pressure him with those flaws in mind. I will knock out him like the first time. He will try a stick and move strategy, but that won’t work. I’ll chase him until I catch him. I don’t know until when he will try to run. I’m training for 10 rounds, I will hunt him until I knock him out.”
“He’s afraid of getting hit in the face, it’s plain to see,” Deiveson continued. “The clash of heads in the first fight came from him, he was the one attacking. When he felt that blood flowing, he got so nervous he started brushing his hand against his face. He lost his focus on the fight for a few seconds. That’s when I saw the opening to punch him and knock him out. I’m an aggressive guy. My style is lethal. All Benavidez needs to do is not use his head in the next fight and I can show everyone I can win without that.”
Figueiredo, 32, is on the cusp of something great in just his ninth UFC appearance. The hard-hitting Brazilian contender has shown that his ability is above all the rest at 125 pounds throughout his first three years in the promotion, but now he gets to do it again for his first UFC title. Needless to say, Figueiredo is as confident as ever entering his rematch with Benavidez.
“I was confident when I fought him the first time and I’m bringing this confidence with me for the second, because I know his game. I can’t underestimate him, though, and I don’t do that in any fight. I always train to fight against the best. Since I already know his game, I trained to correct the strikes I was missing, the ones I was supposed to use against him in the first fight.”
“He was hitting me a lot in the first fight, but you can be sure that won’t happen in the second,” Figueiredo said. “I corrected all my mistakes and I’m ready to catch him. I’m very fierce when I’m attacking. When a tiger is trying to pounce on a pray, it never scares the pray. It will approach it patiently and jump on the perfect opportunity. I’m that guy. He was hitting me, but I waited for the perfect time for my hand to touch him with full power. There it was, he was knocked out in the second round.”
As of now the odds are stacked in Figueiredo’s favor. He’s the bigger and more powerful flyweight. He already has a win over Benavidez. And he has been defeated just once in his entire professional career. All Figueiredo has to do is believe in his power and keep Benavidez on his toes and he should be able to win the belt that escaped him just five months ago.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Island 2 fight card HERE, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.
For much more on this week’s UFC Fight Island 2 event click here.