On Saturday night, Feb. 29, 2020, the UFC returns to action for their very first leap year event in the company’s history with UFC on ESPN+ 27.
The event takes place at the Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Va. and will be headlined by a flyweight title fight between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo, in which only Benavidez can capture UFC gold with a win due to Figueiredo missing weight.
Benavidez will have his third chance to capture the UFC flyweight title after losing twice to former, longtime champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 152 in September 2012 and December 2013’s UFC on FOX 9 event. Benavidez has won his last three fights — finishing Alex Perez and Jussier Formiga, and picking up a unanimous decision win over Dustin Ortiz. The 35-year-old Benavidez is set to make his 19th UFC appearance as he looks to add that elusive world championship to his extensive MMA resume.
Figueiredo has won his last two fights, and 17 out of his last 18 heading into his first main event. “Deus da Guerra” missed weight by 2.5 pounds, which will surely weigh on the mind of the 32-year-old Brazilian. Should Figueiredo defeat Benavidez, the title will remain vacant.
Here is how flyweight main event went down between sole title challenger Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC Norfolk, including round-by-round scoring. For full event results, check them out right here.
Henry Cejudo is no longer the flyweight champion as the fight begins. Benavidez charges in with a left hand. Figueiredo catches a body kick and takes Benavidez to the ground. Figueiredo has Benavidez’s arm in a gnarly position, but Benavidez escapes and gets back to his feet. Body kick, a left hand, and a right from Benavidez. Both men trade and come up short. They clinch up and have a hockey style exchange before separation. Leg kick from Figueiredo, followed by a right hand. Benavidez with a left hand and shoots for a single. Figueiredo defends nicely. Final 90 seconds of the round and Benavidez comes up short with a wild left hand. Right hand from Benavidez lands, a left hook counter lands behind it. Under 50 seconds remain and Benavidez lands another left hand. Leg kick from Benavidez, jab answer from Figueiredo. Body shot from Figueiredo and Benavidez with a hard left hand. Figueiredo with a hard shot and Benavidez hits the mat — maybe just off-balance. Benavidez right back to his feet with a combination as the round ends.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 1, 2020
MyMMANews.com scores it 10-9 for Benavidez
Spinning back kick attempt from Figueiredo starts off the second round. Right hand from Benavidez and they trade big shots. Figueiredo lands a nice right hand and a kick to the body. “USA” is the chant in the arena as Benavidez lands a combination. Looks like they collided heads and Benavidez is busted open. Figueiredo lands a ferocious right hand and Benavidez is down. Figueiredo lands a follow up shot or two and that is it! No flyweight champion tonight.
Official result: Deiveson Figureiredo def. Joseph Benavidez via TKO – Round 2,
Mike Heck is the a freelance MMA journalist covering the sport for a number of websites. Specializing in video interviews, Mike interviews everybody from prospects, to title contenders, to world champions, along with other influential personalities in the sport of MMA. Subscribe to his channel at https://youtube.com/mikeheckmma.