If there was ever any doubt Deiveson Figueiredo could handle the pressures of a big title fight, it was quickly subsided at UFC Fight Island 2.
On “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, Figueiredo (19-1) beat Joseph Benavidez (28-7) for the second fight in a row to become the UFC Flyweight Champion. He would submit him with the rear-naked choke, becoming the first person to stop Benavidez via submission.
“I feel really good,” Figueiredo said after the fight. “I worked really hard for this. I knew that my time was going to come and this is my time.
“I wanted to come here and take this belt to my people. I’m here, I’m the champion.”
— UFC (@ufc) July 19, 2020
Figueiredo started the fight just like the end of the first bout back in February. The 32-year-old hit a huge right and would mount Benavidez while on the floor. He would then land elbows before locking in the rear-naked choke. Benavidez, however, would slip out multiple times, showing that he was not ready to give up just yet.
As Benavidez moved against the cage to gain some form of momentum, Figueiredo would put in another choke. Again getting out of it, Benavidez would not be able to land any legitimate offense as Figueiredo landed four-punch combinations and a huge right. After a third knockdown, Figueiredo locked in another submission. A bloody Benavidez would not be able to fight out of this one, as he was passed out to the point of the referee calling the fight.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 19, 2020
Figueiredo has now won four in a row after getting his undefeated streak snapped against Jussier Formiga in March 2019. His journey to the top is an interesting one, as he missed weight in his last title fight with Benavidez. Winning the fight but unable to win the title, he had to work hard to secure anther bout and win.
Not long before the fight, Figueiredo tested positive for COVID-19 but was able to get approved to fight not long after.
This is the fourth time Benavidez has lost a UFC title fight. Overall, he is 0-5 in title fights and is 3-3 in his last six fights. It is unknown what is next for him.