No. 1 flyweight Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1, 9 KOs, 6 SUBs) meets No. 2 Joe Benavidez (28-6, 8 KOs, 9 SUBs) in a rematch for the vacant flyweight title. The matchup headlines UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo on Saturday, July 18th, 2020, at UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The main UFC Fight card includes a middleweight co-main event featuring Sweden’s Jack Hermansson (20-5) and former title challenger Kelvin Gastelum (15-5). The main card features five contests on ESPN+, with six cards scheduled for the prelims on the streaming service.
Let’s take a look at the title match and break down your best-betting picks at the UFC online sportsbook.
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Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1, 9 KOs, 6 SUBs)
The first time Figueiredo and Benavidez met was in February 2020 - which was also for the vacant title. Though the record shows the Brazilian winning via second-round TKO, there are two major factors driving an immediate rematch. First: Figueiredo missed weight by 2.5 pounds, which disqualified him from winning a belt. Second: an accidental headbutt left Benavidez streaming like a faucet just minutes before Deiveson’s finishing assault. There was nothing dirty about the incident, but it was serious enough to make people believe that it could have changed the outcome of the fight. Nobody wants to see that happen.
Figueiredo is a giant flyweight, so weight cutting is always going to be an issue. Last time, kidney pains halted a grueling weight cut. He looked no worse for wear, as the Brazilian was throwing serious heat and keeping pace with an active opponent before finishing the fight.
The UFC odds at Betcris opened with Figueiredo as a big -230 favorite. For context, he was a +120 underdog in their first matchup.
Joe Benavidez (28-6, 8 KOs, 9 SUBs)
Benavidez has been putting in work at flyweight for a long, long time. For a few years, he was the clear No. 2. It’s likely the Team Alpha Male product would have been a champion had he not had the misfortune of fighting during the Demetrious Johnson era. We gotta admit: it’d be pretty cool to see the dude finally get his hand raised. It just won’t be easy.
The good news: Benavidez won the first round against Figueiredo. He got the better of the standup and fending out of the Brazilian’s vaunted grappling attacks. There were even a few moments where Joe’s combinations wobbled his opponents. While Figueiredo was never hurt, it was clear those punches stung. Benavidez was doing his veteran thing, defending well against Figueredo’s kill shots - the question is whether he can do that for five rounds. There’s no margin for error against a beast.
Significant Striking Stats
- Strikes landed per minute: Benavidez 3.45 / Figueiredo 2.43
- Striking accuracy: Benavidez 33% / Figueiredo 52%
- Strikes absorbed per minute: Benavidez 2.54 / Figueiredo 2.15
- Striking defense: Benavidez 63% / Figueiredo 55%
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- Takedowns per 15 minutes: Benavidez 1.45 / Figueiredo 1.86
- Takedown accuracy: Benavidez 29% / Figueiredo 50%
- Takedown defense: Benavidez 65% / Figueiredo 58%
- Submission average: Benavidez 0.6 / Figueiredo 2.27
UFC Odds Pick
We just can’t pass on a +165 money line for Benavidez. Figueiredo is younger, bigger, and stronger, but Benavidez demonstrated the ability to execute a winning gameplan to take rounds against the Brazilian. Joe Benavidez is one of the most experienced guys in the division, and he hasn’t declined much. Assuming there are no freak headbutts, Benavidez picks up where he left off and takes the decision.
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