UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JULY 19: Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil celebrates after defeating Joseph Benavidez in their UFC flyweight championship bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 19, 2020 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2 was the third event live from Fight Island in a partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

In the main event, Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez rematched for the vacant flyweight title, and once again it did not go the distance. Figueiredo put on a dominant performance, knocking down Benavidez three times and catching him in several rear-naked chokes before the one that eventually sealed him the win. Deiveson is now the undisputed UFC world flyweight champion.

In the co-main event clash of middleweight contenders, No. 6 ranked Jack Hermansson and No. 7 Kelvin Gastelum clashed quickly and hit the canvas for an early scramble. Hermansson was able to capitalize on the positioning and he went for a heel hook, forcing Gastelum to tap out in just 1:18 of the first round.

Up and coming lightweights Marc Diakiese and Rafael Fiziev put on a striker’s delight. Fiziev took his performance up a notch in every area, from devastating body kicks to precision combinations, and earned the unanimous decision over the highly competitive Diakiese.

In the women’s flyweight division, Ariane Lipski certainly built off her most recent win when she took on Luana Carolina. They started off fast and strong, with Carolina attempting the first submission, but Lipski took advantage of the position to get the finisher, a perfect kneebar in just 1:28 of the first round.

Opening up the main card in the hot flyweight division, No. 4 ranked Alexandre Pantoja squared off with unbeaten No. 7 Askar Askarov for three rounds of non-stop action. The momentum swung from a strong opening round by Pantoja to a third surge from Askarov, who remains unbeaten with the unanimous decision win.




Fight of the Night:

Marc Diakiese vs. Rafael Fiziev

Performances of the Night:

Ariane Lipski

Deiveson Figueiredo

Deiveson Figueiredo defeated Joseph Benavidez via technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:48 of round 1

Deiveson Figueiredo:

The fight was the fight of the night. I said I was going to break Benavidez and that’s exactly what I did. I gave him his first submission on his record and the fight itself was a great show, I gave everyone a show. He didn’t surprise me at all tonight, I actually thought he was a little bit slower than in the last fight. I didn’t tell anyone about this, but I’m much quicker now and I have much more ability with counter striking.

I’m available for whoever the UFC wants to put in front of me, anyone at my level, but you have to be at my level because I’m a knockout artist, I’m going to knock you out. I’m going home tomorrow and we’re going to start celebrating with all Brazilians on the flight back and as soon as I land in Brazil everyone is going to be taking pictures and congratulating me, so it’s going to be a great party.

Jack Hermansson defeated Kelvin Gastelum via heel hook at 1:18 of round 1

Jack Hermansson:

First round finish, what more can you wish more? Obviously it was a mistake for him. I’m very dangerous on the ground. I think that he is comfortable with his top game, but people know how much I have from the ground because I’m not so much on my back in my fights, almost never, so people don’t know how dangerous of a game I have from there. Now they have a clue, they don’t know everything.

That’s my goal, that’s why I do this, I want a title shot. It went perfect, first-round finish, that’s what I want. I’m always satisfied if I get the finish. If I don’t get the finish, I’m not always satisfied, but now it’s not only a victory, it’s a finish in the first round, so I’m happy with that. I didn’t think too much, I just did as I do in practice. I tried to stay aggressive and work for the submissions. We knew we prepared for him posting up in the tripod position. Did you see that? That’s something that we worked for, so I knew that he was going to do that.

Rafael Fiziev defeated Marc Diakiese via unanimous decision

Rafael Fiziev:

I’m happy with the win, I’m happy for my second win in the UFC. Just happy, you know? Thank you for my opponent, for this perfect fight. I have a plan to break his heart, break his body and show perfect technique, show what I know, you know? I hope people like it.

We always have plans, but God knows more about what we need. I’m happy about everything, I’m just waiting for my next opponent. I hope I have no serious injuries and I hope before the new year I come back again.

Ariane Lipski defeated Luana Carolina via kneebar at 1:28 of round 1

Ariana Lipski:

I was very confident, we studied her game, so we knew we would have to pressure her. If it got to the ground, she would try to put me in the guard because she has a good guard. I was very confident on the ground and I was training very hard the leg lock and the foot lock too. I feel very, very happy. I was very, very confident for the fight. I went to the Octagon and just enjoyed and did my best. I have much more to show, I just want to get back as soon as possible.

I’ll look to the ranks, so I don’t have a name, I have to talk to my head coach and to my manager to think how is the best option, and to look for the rank. I have no injuries, I’m healthy, I’m young and I’m hungry, very hungry for more victories. The fight was amazing, I was very confident. I wanted to win this fight by KO, but I was confident that if the fight went to the ground that I would submit her in the first round.

Askar Askarov defeated Alexandre Pantoja via unanimous decision

Askar Askarov:

I will take everyone down in my way and I will get the belt

Roman Dolidze defeated Khadis Ibragimov via TKO at 4:15 of round 1

Roman Dolidze:

Of course, I am very happy. He was a good opponent, tough opponent but I don’t like when someone looks at me like he done yesterday, this was his big mistake, that’s why it was like that today. Just fighting, that’s all, nothing more. I’m ready, no problems with me, I’m ready to fight yesterday, tomorrow, and I will improve my English!

Grant Dawson defeated Nad Narimani via unanimous decision

Grant Dawson:

It was a good fight, I thought I put on a really good performance, I thought it was an exciting fight, I thought it was one of the better fights of the night. There was a little bit of everything, knees, elbows, blood, wrestling, guts, submission attempts, I thought I was dominant from the beginning all the way to the end. The only thing that surprised me, was that at the end he caught me behind the ear at the end of the third round, kinda wobbled me a little bit, but we recovered, I got that experience, I came back and I thought I won the fight, I thought I won the third round other than that punch.

The strategy pretty much always stays the same: be aggressive, get the takedown, look to be dominant from start to finish, we did that. In the third round, I wanted to show my striking ability, I wanted to get at least a knockdown or some good punches, but it didn’t go that way, but we got the win and that’s all that matters. I love it here, I’d love to come back. I’ve been here for over two weeks. I love it, it’s so beautiful here, I wish I could have seen it more outside the hotel, but it is what it is, we’re here to fight.

Joel Alvarez defeated Joe Duffy via guillotine choke at 2:25 of round 1

Joel Alvarez:

He was using a lot of the kicks, at the end of the fight, we went into grappling and my guillotine took him out. He surprised me with the lateral kicks at the beginning, but we had practiced a little bit to maintain that aspect and at the end of the day, we were able to maintain and control that aspect.

Whoever the boss says is next, I’m ready for them. I’m ready to fight the best guys in the UFC. The experience on Fight Island has been great with my team. Everything has been wonderful so far and hopefully, I get to repeat the experience.

Brett Johns defeated Montel Jackson via unanimous decision

Brett Johns:

The performance myself, I wasn’t particularly happy with, but we’ll take it. For example, the guy has a lot of momentum, three-fight win streak, he’s a prospect in the UFC, I’ll take that. The performance itself, I wasn’t particularly happy, but as I said, I’ve come in the best condition, that’s what got me through all the rounds. I just want to say thank you to my team who has got me in this peak physical condition. Overall, I’m happy I grinded it out, that’s my style really, I have that fighting style in me where I grind things out. I am very happy overall to get the win, it’s a new chapter in my career, did I feel like I looked good? Not very, but I’ll take it, he was a good striker, I’m very thankful.

We expected Montel to have a very quick 1-2. It is quick and there was that, that was super-fast. That’s what caught me off guard really, once I got caught with it once, I was weary about it and I managed to time it and get the shots off to get to the fence. Like I said, probably not the most attractive fight, at this level and this big stage, I wanted a win and that’s what I got.

I’m happy to fight anybody in this weight division. It is the ‘anyone can get it’ tour. If you ask me a name, I’d like to fight a legend, a legend of the game. I’d like to fight someone like Urijah Faber, a guy who has been there and done it and fought the best guys. Was that the performance to really shout and scream about it? Probably not, but if Urijah is watching, that’s a fight I dream to have. I think about getting my shorts framed after the fight and imagine fighting Urijah Faber and them shorts, that would be a dream come true.

Amir Albazi defeated Malcolm Gordon via triangle choke at 4:42 of round 1

Amir Albazi:

The victory felt amazing, exactly what I’ve been working on. It went exactly to plan, the plan was to stand up a bit, feel him out, take him down, and finally put him to sleep with a chokehold or a submission. I’ve been training jujitsu since the age of 14, both back home in Sweden and in London Shoot Fighters in London, so I feel very comfortable on the ground.

To be honest, nothing really surprised me. I prepare with all types of opponents, so when I’m in there, I feel at home and it’s just another puzzle to solve. If Dana gives me that 50 G’s, I’ll stick around and do another fight next week. Celebrate, have fun, but also go back to training.

Fight Island has been really an amazing experience. A lot of people talk about the UFC, but the staff, the organization, how everything is run, it’s top of the mountain, now I understand why it’s the biggest promotion in the world.

Arman Tsarukyan defeated Davi Ramos via unanimous decision

Arm Tsarukyan:

This was a great fight for me because Davi Ramos is a very strong opponent. He is one of the stronger grapplers in the world. Next fight, I want to fight with the top 15, the top 10 guys, maybe Iaquinta because he is a very strong guy and he fought with Khabib Nurmagomedov. I want to fight with him because it’s a good fight for me. I’m a very young fighter, every day I will get better and better. I can destroy my whole division.

I have never been here, it’s a great island, it’s a great place. I am so very happy because it is very great to me to fight on Fight Island. I didn’t fight for one year, which was bad, but not I am happy, it is good for me.

Serghei Spivac defeated Carlos Felipe via unanimous decision

Serghei Spivac:

I think that I wasn’t great in this fight because I never had a proper camp because of the COVID situation. I was mad at my opponent because of his tricks on the weigh-ins and during the fight. My daughter was born right before the fight so I didn’t sleep well because of that, and I want to dedicate the victory to my wife and daughter.

About the Author

Jeremy Deschner
Black Belt in American Karate from the Texas Karate Institute. Now training in Brazilian Jiujitsu in Japan. Twitter: @mmajpn1 @jiujitsu_Jedi

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