Flyweight title challenger Deiveson Figueiredo is ready to put on another dominant performance when he takes on Joseph Benavidez again for the UFC’s vacant belt. After missing weight the first time around and not winning the title even though he bested his opponent via TKO, ‘Daico’ is making sure he will not make the same mistake again on July 18,
Although he stopped Joseph Benavidez via strikes when they met back in February, Deiveson now wants something no other fighter was able to do before: to finish Benavidez by way of submission, In an interview with Ag Fight, Figueiredo claims he is prepared to break that record on his way to becoming the new flyweight champion.
“He will hang his chin low, because he knows I’m an aggressive guy and I’ll look for the knockout again. I want to end this whole ‘never been finished by submission’ thing he has going. I’m going out there to submit him. I came close (to submitting Benavidez). Now it’s all about connecting my strikes and not letting him get away. I know he’s fast, explosive, but that’s my game, too. We own Brazilian jiu-jitsu, though, so we’re studying a way to stop him and control the position so he can’t escape a locked in submission.”
Back on February 29, Deiveson missed weight by 2.5 pounds and became ineligible to win the title, which kept the division without a champion for a few months longer. However, Figueiredo says he is taking even more precautions in order to avoid the problem again this time around, so he can go back to Brazil with the belt on him after the rematch.
“On the day of the trip, I want to be down to 132, 134 pounds. I’m used to arriving at about 145, 143. I don’t want to drop the ball. I want to get there certain I’ll make weight and bring the belt back to Brazil.”
Before beating Benavidez, Figueiredo (18-1) already had wins over both Tim Elliott and Alexandre Pantoja. The 32-year-old’s last and sole loss happened in March of 2019, when Jussier Formiga defeated him via unanimous decision.
Now, Figueiredo is expected to take on Benavidez at UFC Fight Night 173’s main event, on July 18, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.