Figueiredo KOs Benavidez, Flyweight Division In Limbo Again

The worst-case scenario for fans of the UFC’s flyweight division became a reality in Norfolk, Virginia. A man who didn’t make weight for the title fight ended up beating the guy the fans have supported since the beginning. As a result, nobody knows what will happen to the division.

Inside the Chartway Arena, Deiveson Figueiredo knocked out Joseph Benavidez in the second round. It was a bout that started off hot and then ended in tragedy.

With Benavidez (28-6) stating he didn’t respect Figueiredo (18-1) for missing weight, you just knew the contest was going to have some fire to it. Both fighters came out hot, with Benavidez trying to land some heavy shots to the face of Figueiredo. The “God of War”, however, had a strong chin. Figueiredo almost trapped Benavidez in an armbar, but Benavidez was able to escape and bring it back to their feet. The crowd erupted when that took place.

The second round stayed on the feet, but not for long. Figueiredo and Benavidez clashed heads, which resulted in the latter getting a nasty cut by his eye that shocked him. Figueiredo took advantage of the situation and landed a right hand that knocked Benavidez down. A few shots to the ground later and the referee called off the bout at 1:54 into the round. It was a knockout that took the air out of the entire arena.

Following the loss Benavidez, who has lost four title fights, three for the UFC Flyweight Title, reflected on the fight. It was an emotional moment for a man who has been on this journey for gold for over a decade.

“I feel like this isn’t real right now,” Benavidez stated. “I’m in some freaking nightmare honestly. Life’s tough like that.”

Figueiredo came into the fight two pounds over the flyweight limit. As a result, the belt left behind by Henry Cejudo remains vacant.

“Guys, please forgive me for not making weight. I was always a professional in the promotion, but it happened,” Figueiredo stated via a translator. “Next time, I will make weight, I promise you that… I’m not here for the best, I’m here to give you all a show. The belt isn’t going home with me today, but I’m sure, if it is God’s will, it will come to me, it will come.”

Both Megan Anderson and Felicia Spencer won their bouts on the main card, each becoming one step closer to fight for Amanda Nunes’ 145-pound belt. Anderson (11-4) knocked out Norma Dumont Viana in the first round with a vicious shot, while Spencer (8-1) beat Zarah Fairn Dos Santos via TKO following a brutal ground and pound game in the co-main event. Spencer is back in the win column following a loss to Cris Cyborg at UFC 240. Anderson, who has lost to Spencer before, is now on a two-fight win streak.

Main Card (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET) 

Deiveson Figueiredo def. Joseph Benavidez via TKO ** (1:54 into round two) – UFC Flyweight Championship

Felicia Spencer def. Zarah Fairn via TKO (3:37 into round one)

Magomed Ankalaev def. Ion Cutelaba via KO (:38 into round one)

Megan Anderson def. Norma Dumont (3:31 in round one)

Grant Dawson def. Darrick Minner via submission (1:38 into round two)

Prelims (ESPN+, 5 p.m.)

Kyler Phillips def. Gabriel Silva via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Marcin Tybura def. Serghei Spivac via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Brendan Allen def. Tom Breese via TKO (4:47 into round one)

Luis Pena def. Alex Munoz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Jordan Griffin def. TJ Brown via guillotine choke (3:21 into round two)

Spike Carlyle def. Aalon Cruz via TKO (1:25 into round one)

Sean Brady def. Ismail Naurdiev via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

** Figueiredo didn’t make weight. Title is still vacant.

 

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