UFC Fight Island 2 went down last night (Sat., July 18, 2020) from inside Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The headlining act saw Deiveson Figueiredo knock down Joseph Benavidez three times before submitting him in the first round to win the vacant Flyweight title (see it again here). In the co-main event, Jack Hermansson pulled off a stunning submission win via heel hook over Kelvin Gastelum early in the opening round (highlights).
Winner: Deiveson Figueiredo
Who He Should Fight Next: Brandon Moreno
Alexandre Pantoja saw his hopes of challenging for the 125-pound title go up in smoke in Abu Dhabi after coming up short against Askar Askarov. Yes, Moreno is ranked one spot ahead of Pantoja, but with a win Alexandre could have leaped him in the rankings. And since Pantoja has a win over Moreno — and his lone loss since 2018 is to Figueiredo — “The Cannibal” could have made a great case for a title shot. Instead, Moreno is all but guaranteed to get first crack at trying to dethrone “Daico.” Moreno has won three straight and fought to a split draw against Askarov. While Figueiredo is already eying fights at Bantamweight, he needs to slow his roll and defend his belt a few times.
Winner: Jack Hermansson
Who He Should Fight Next: Whittaker vs Till winner
With his stunning win over Kelvin Gastelum, Hermansson moves to 5-1 over his last six UFC fights. Israel Adesanya is set to defend his 185-pound strap against Paulo Costa this September, which gives the rest of the division some time to produce the next title challenger. Darren Till and Robert Whittaker are set to collide this weekend (Sat., July 25, 2020), and the winner should be prepared to face “The Joker” in a title eliminator bout. I’m not trying to forget about Jared Cannonier, but there is no telling when he will be back after he tore his pectoral muscle. For now, those should be the plans unless “Killa Gorilla” enters the mix sooner rather than later.
Winner: Rafael Fiziev
Who He Should Face Next: Alexander Hernandez
Yes, Figueiredo and Hermansson had stellar performances, but Fiziev stole the show last night with his “Fight of the Night” performance against Marc Diakiese. It was a coming out party for “Ataman,” who hadn’t really jumped out at most in his first two UFC outings. But his striking attack last night wowed fight fans, as did his aggressiveness and Matrix-like defense. The power in his kicks could seemingly be felt through your streaming device, which makes you wonder just what kind of pain Diakiese is in this morning. I’m excited to see him fight again and I think a fight against Hernandez makes sense and putting Fiziev up against anyone in the Top 15 doesn’t. Hernandez has a decent name and despite coming off a loss to Drew Dober, can still prove to be a big challenge for Fiziev.
Winner: Ariane Lipski
Who She Should Fight Next: Gillian Robertson
After dropping her first two fights inside the Octagon, Lipski is now enjoying a two-fight win streak following her impressive first-round finish over Luana Carolina via kneebar. A fight against Robertson seems appealing because both women are currently on the outside of the rankings looking in. Robertson is coming off a win over Cortney Casey last month, so their return dates could line up perfectly for a showdown in a few months.
Winner: Askar Askarov
Who He Should Fight Next: Alex Perez
Askarov just keeps on winning, collecting win No. 12 over Alexandre Pantoja to remain undefeated (12-0-1, 2-0-1 UFC). It’s only fitting he takes on Alex Perez next, who is ranked a couple spots ahead of him at the moment. Perez is enjoying a nice three-fight win streak and a spot in the Top 5 at the moment, so a win over him would be a huge boost for Askarov (and vice versa). The 125-pound division seems to be doing well after rumors that it would be removed from UFC’s roster surfaced last year.
For complete UFC Fight Island 2: “Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2” results and play-by-play, click HERE!