Joseph Benavidez will once again have his opportunity to fight for a UFC title when he meets Deiveson Figueiredo in the main event of this weekend’s UFC Norfolk fight card.
No. 1 ranked contender Benavidez and No. 3 ranked Figueiredo battle to secure their first UFC championship, the title recently vacated by former champion Henry Cejudo.
Third time a charm?
Saturday’s title opportunity marks the third time Benavidez will fight for UFC gold. The 35-year old fight from Texas, now living in California, dropped a split decision to Demetrious Johnson in 2012 when the two men fought for the promotion’s inaugural title. They would then meet again at UFC on FOX 9 in 2013 where Johnson knocked Benavidez out in the first round.
A perennial top contender for most of his career, Benavidez has proven himself to be one of the best in the world with wins over Jussier Formiga, Henry Cejudo and Tim Elliot. He now looks to become the only person to stop Figueiredo and finally earn his long-awaited championship.
One of the most dangerous finishers in the flyweight division, Figueiredo (17-1, fighting out of Condor Belem, Para, Brazil) looks to leave no doubt in his first-ever title opportunity. Since joining the UFC roster in 2017, he has earned impressive stoppage wins against Tim Elliot, John Moraga and Joseph Morales. Now, he intends on delivering his most impressive performance yet in the biggest fight of his career.
To say Benavidez will dominate is a bit much, but he should walk out of the UFC Norfolk main event with the championship strap. He’s been there, done that, fought the best flyweight in the world twice for the title, and he’s been the top contender since the division was launched eight years ago.
Benavidez also holds a split decision win over Cejudo, who is man who defeated the man in Johnson. MMA Math doesn’t necessarily work that way, but when you stack Benavidez and Figueiredo up against one another on paper, “the Beefcake” Benavidez comes out on top.
Oddsmakers currently have Benavidez listed as the favorite going into Saturday night. Through this offer you can see just what the experts in the field are saying.
Figueiredo enters the fight with just one blemish on his record, a decision loss to Jussier Formiga. If we go back to that MMA Math equation, Benavidez recently defeated Formiga with strikes, so again, on paper, Figueiredo is the underdog.
The Borgata Sports bonus code shows that Benavidez will likely walk away from the contest with a unanimous decision win. Figueiredo is not easy to put away, but Benavidez might be able to develop a game plan that would see him come out victorious.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN+: BENAVIDEZ vs. FIGUEIREDO will take place Saturday, Feb. 29 at Chartway Arena with all fights carried exclusively on ESPN+ in English and Spanish. The main card begins at 8 p.m. ET with the prelims kicking off at 5 p.m. ET. Doors open at 4 p.m. ET.
Full UFC on ESPN+ 27 fight card below:
Joseph Benavidez vs. Deiveson Figueiredo – 125 lbs
Felicia Spencer vs. Zarah Fairn – 145 lbs
Ion Cutelaba vs. Magomed Ankalaev – 205 lbs
Megan Anderson vs. Norma Dumont – 145 lbs
Grant Dawson vs. Darrick Minner – 145 lbs
Luis Pena vs. Steve Garcia Jr. – 155 lbs
Gabriel Silva vs. Kyler Phillips – 135 lbs
Brendan Allen vs. Tom Breese – 185 lbs
Marcin Tybura vs. Sergey Spivak – 265 lbs
TJ Brown vs. Jordan Griffin – 145 lbs
Aalon Cruz vs. Spike Carlyle – 145 lbs
Ismail Naurdiev vs. Sean Brady – 170 lbs