Deiveson Figueiredo gets a second shot at UFC gold when he takes on Joseph Benavidez for the vacant UFC flyweight title on July 19, 2020, at the Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Figueiredo defeated Benavidez via knockout last February but was not eligible to win the flyweight title after missing weight. The Brazilian has lost just once inside the UFC octagon and is looking for his fourth consecutive win. On the other hand, Benavidez will be fighting in his fourth title bout and is looking for his first-ever title win. The 35-year old is one of the best flyweights ever but he has the reputation of being always the bridesmaid, not the bride.

Let’s take a look at the bouts in the main card of UFC Fight: Figueiredo vs Benavidez 2.:

“Fighting" Deiveson Figueiredo vs Joseph Benavidez

Deiveson Figueiredo is the #1 flyweight in the UFC. The 32-year old from Brazil defeated Joseph Benavidez last February in what was supposed to be a fight for the vacant UFC flyweight title. He won that bout by knockout but was ineligible to win the title after he missed weight. The Brazilian is 7-1 inside the UFC octagon and has won three consecutive bouts. He has a record of 18-1 with 9 knockouts and six wins via submission. Figueiredo stands 5-5 tall with a reach of 68 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from BetOnline as of 07/16/2020

Joseph Benavidez is the #2 ranked UFC flyweight. This 35-year old was the training partner of Urijah Faber and is a veteran of Dream and the WEC. He challenged Dominick Cruz for the WEC bantamweight title but lost that bout. He also fought Demetrious Johnson two times for the UFC flyweight title but lost both fights as well. In his last fight, he failed to win the UFC flyweight belt for the third time. He is 28-6 with eight knockouts and nine wins via submission. Benavidez stands 5-4 tall with a reach of 65 inches and is a southpaw fighter.

Benavidez’s striking has improved over the years but he still likes to go to a brawl and hope that he lands the bigger punch. Once he gets overpowered, he takes the fight to the ground where he has good wrestling and choking skills. That has been successful for most of his career. But it didn’t work against Figueiredo in their first fight as the Brazilian was durable and had the heavier hands. I think Benavidez can win this fight by putting up a frenetic pace against a bigger opponent who has to underdog a massive weight cut and who is coming off a COVID-19 infection. However, between that and Figueiredo manhandling Benavidez again, I fancy the latter.

Prediction: Deiveson Figueiredo (-200)

“Fighting" Jack Hermannson vs Kelvin Gastelum

Jack Hermannson is the 6th ranked UFC middleweight. The 32-year old from Sweden is a former Cage Warriors and Warrior Fight Series middleweight champion who also had a stint with Bellator. Hermannson was the 2018 and 2019 Nordic Fighter of the Year and he has a record of 20-5 with 11 knockouts and five wins via submission. This orthodox fighter stands 6-1 tall with a reach of 77 inches. He is coming off a knockout loss to Jared Cannonier in a bout that snapped a four-bout winning streak.

Kelvin Gastelum is ranked 7th in the UFC middleweight division and the winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 17. He won his first 10 bouts but is only 5-5 with one no-contest in his last 11 bouts. He has a record of 15-5 with six knockouts and four wins via submission. The 28-year old from California stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 71 inches and is a southpaw fighter. Gastelum is coming off back to back losses to Israel Adesanya and Darren Till.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from BetOnline as of 07/16/2020

Both men are coming off losses and both were having excellent runs before dropping their last bout. The similarities end there. Hermannson is one of the biggest middleweights out there while Gastelum is one of the smallest in the weight class. The difference between these two are four inches in height and six inches in reach. The Problem for Gastelum is that Hermannson is good at using his reach. But Hermanson can be knocked out and Gastelum has the punching power to do that. He also has the volume to outpoint Hermannson but again, my main issue here is the size difference between these two. I think Hermannson will outpoint Gastelum if needed. He will overpower Gastelum on the mat if that’s where this fight goes. I feel that the size difference is just too much here.

Prediction: Jack Hermannson (-105)

“Fighting" Marc Diakiese vs Rafael Fiziev

Marc Diakiese is a former BAMMA Lonsdale British lightweight champion and the ex- Cage Kumite lightweight champion. This 27-year old from Congo won his first 12 MMA bouts, including his first three octagon fights. He has a record of 14-3 with six knockouts and one victory via submission. Diakiese is coming off back to back wins over Joseph Duffy and Lando Vannata. Diakiese is 5-10 tall with a reach of 73 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

Rafael Fiziev replaced Alan Patrick who was Diakiese’s original opponent. Fiziev is an accomplished Muay Thai fighter and was the former Kyrgyzstan Muay Thai Champion and a silver medalist at the IFMA Muay Thai Championship in 2009. Fiziev has a record of 7-1 with five knockouts and one win via submission. He is a switch hitter who stands 5-8 tall and has a reach of 71 inches. He is coming off a decision win over Alex White last October 2019.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from BetOnline as of 07/16/2020

Diakiese is rangy, athletic, and has a hard-hitting style. He’s picked up a pair of wins after suffering three straight losses and has displayed improved use of range when striking. He is also a powerful wrestler and able grappler inside the cage. His opponent here doesn’t have the same experience as him. He’s a very quick fighter but is very hittable and doesn’t have good defensive skills. Diakiese is also taller and rangier than Fiziev so size is on the side of Diakiese as well. I think that Diakiese wins this with takedowns and experience. I’m not discounting the possibility of a knockout here.

Prediction: Marc Diakiese (-160)

“Fighting" Ariane Lipski vs Luana Carolina

Ariane Lipski is the former KSW women’s flyweight champion who joined the UFC after two successful title defenses. However, Lipski lost her first two UFC assignments against Joanne Calderwood and Molly McCann. She bounced back with a win over Isabela de Padua and signed a four-fight UFC deal. Lipski stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 67 inches and is an orthodox fighter. She has a record of 12-5 with six knockouts and two wins via submission.

Luana Carolina fought for Thunder Fight and Batalha MMA before appearing in the Contender Series in 2018 where she earned a win over Mabelly Lima. Carolina defeated Priscila Cachoeira in he UFC debut for her sixth consecutive win. She has a record of 6-1 with two knockouts and one win via submission. She stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 69 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from BetOnline as of 07/16/2020

She came to the UFC with a lot of reputation but since coming over, I have not been impressed. Lipski is an excellent striker but she also gets easily hit because she keeps her chin too high, exposing it to her foes. On the ground, she can fight from top position but has a hard time on her back. Carolina is a better fighter than Lipski’s last opponent and if the former can outwork Priscila Cachoeira on the ground, Lipski could be in trouble if this fight goes to the mat. However, I think Lipski’s striking is much better than Carolina’s that we don’t have to worry about her getting taken down. Lipski keeps this fight on the feet and she outpoints her opponent.

Prediction: Ariane Lipski (-135)

“Fighting" Alexandre Pantoja vs Askar Askarov

Alexandre Pantoja is the 4th ranked flyweight in the UFC. This 30-year old Brazilian was a former flyweight champion from the Resurrection Fighting Alliance and Shooto Brazil. He was a competitor in the TUF: Tournament of Champions where he lost in the semifinals. Pantoja stands 5-5 tall with a reach of 67 inches and is an orthodox fighter. He has a record of 22-4 with 8 knockouts and 8 wins via submission. Pantoja owns wins over Brandon Moreno, Wilson Reis, and Matt Schnell.

Askar Askarov fought for ACB before coming over to the UFC. This 27-year old from Dagestan drew with Brandon Moreno during his UFC debut. He then defeated Tim Elliott at UFC 246. He has an overall record of 11-0 with three wins via knockout and seven via submission. Bullet stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 67 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from BetOnline as of 07/16/2020

Askarov isn’t as prominent as Pantoja but he’s a dangerous foe. He’s unbeaten and his draw with Brandon Moreno is the only blemish on his record. Askarov’s strengths are his takedowns and ground and pound game. He’s also a willing striker but he’s wild and that has put him in trouble in several instances. Pantoja is the more superior fighter here, at least technically. But if Askarov can push a fast pace, he may be able to wear out Pantoja. But Pantoja has plenty of experience and has fought better opposition. I think that Askarov will try to strike with Pantoja and he gets caught with a big punch that will lead to a finish, either by knockout on the feet or by ground and pound.

Prediction: Alexandre Pantoja (-205)

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