After months of uncertainty, the UFC flyweight division will lastly have a brand new champion Saturday evening.
Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez will settle their rivalry Saturday in the principle occasion of UFC Combat Night time on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. The winner will personal the belt that has been vacated since former titleholder Henry Cejudo relinquished it in December.
ESPN has Figueiredo ranked No. 2 and Benavidez at No. Three on this planet amongst MMA flyweight fighters. However the beef between the 2 of them goes deeper than that now.
Benavidez and Figueiredo fought Feb. 29 in Norfolk, Virginia. The bout was purported to resolve the title, however Figueiredo missed weight by 2.5 kilos. Benavidez was the one one who may win the belt within the combat — however Figueiredo ended up stopping Benavidez by TKO within the second spherical. There was some controversy there, too. Figueiredo’s end got here proper after a conflict of heads that rocked Benavidez.
Benavidez is taking the rematch personally. He mentioned he was informed by Brazilian media that Figueiredo made some feedback about how he was proud that he head-butted Benavidez.
“What I felt after the final combat and the best way it went about, not essentially in probably the most honest means, it simply makes me truly wish to harm him.,” Benavidez informed ESPN. “I need you to really feel dizzy if you rise up day-after-day and never know in case your concussions are going to go away. I need you to freaking cry and be embarrassed and all that type of stuff. So yeah, that could be a completely different feeling in direction of this combat.
Within the co-main occasion, former title challenger Kelvin Gastelum and Jack Hermansson will face off in a key middleweight battle. Gastelum (15-5, 1 NC) is ESPN’s No. 7-ranked middleweight, whereas Hermansson (20-5) is No. 8.
Additionally on the cardboard, Alexandre Pantoja and Askar Askarov meet to probably resolve a future contender for the flyweight title, Irish fan favourite Joseph Duffy returns for the primary time in 16 months and Brett Johnson and Montel Jackson sq. off in a battle of bantamweight prospects.
Combat in progress:
Gentle heavyweight: Khadis Ibragimov (8-2, 0-2 UFC, +145) vs. Roman Dolidze (6-0, 0-Zero UFC, -165)
Catchweight (150 kilos): Grant Dawson (16-1, 4-Zero UFC) defeats Nad Narimani (12-4, 2-2 UFC) by unanimous resolution
Recap to come back.
Yassss!!!! Tremendous pleased with Grant tonight. Showcased how a lot he is labored on his placing and the way effectively rounded he’s.
Stunning efficiency 👏🏻👏🏻 #UFCFightIsland2
— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) July 18, 2020
Light-weight: Joel Alvarez (17-2, 2-1 UFC) defeats Joe Duffy (16-5, 4-Four UFC) by first-round guillotine
Joel Alvarez upsets Joe Duffy after forcing him to faucet out by way of guillotine choke in Spherical 1.
You needed to know somebody was going to be tapping out on this one. Every of those males got here in with 16 professional wins on his résumé, with Alvarez having scored all however two of them by submission and Duffy having produced 10 subs.
However the lightweights made it a kicking contest for the primary two minutes. Every man reddened the opposite’s left calf with a succession of low kicks, and neither took a backward step. They each appeared content material to proceed the placing battle.
Then Duffy shot for a double-leg takedown and put Alvarez on his again with 2:45 to go within the spherical. However the Spaniard wasted no time in switching to grappling mode. He locked in a guillotine choke, and earlier than it may register to onlookers that it was a good submission try, Duffy was tapping at 2:25.
For Duffy, a 32-year-old Irishman who had not competed in 16 months, it was his third straight loss.
Alvarez, 2-1 within the UFC, had not fought in simply over a 12 months. He is 27.
Watch this combat on ESPN+.
Males’s bantamweight: Brett Johns (17-2, 5-2 UFC) defeats Montel Jackson (9-2, 3-2 UFC) by unanimous resolution
Johns knew he had a bonus within the grappling and by no means let up in that side of the combat.
Regardless of getting dropped within the first spherical, Johns caught to his grappling-heavy sport plan and pulled off a unanimous resolution (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) win over Jackson. Afterward, Johns informed analyst Paul Felder that he needed to overcome Jackson’s unbelievable grip power, which he described as one thing he had “by no means felt in my life earlier than.”
Assume johns took it with that guillotine
— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) July 18, 2020
“That was a dire efficiency,” Johns mentioned. “That wasn’t the most effective. I may do rather a lot higher than that.”
Johns labored for a takedown towards the cage within the first spherical, however did not get it. Jackson was in a position to get a long way and land an enormous left hand that put Johns down. Jackson obtained in prime place and landed onerous elbows. Johns tried for an armbar because the spherical was coming to an finish, however Jackson defended and clearly gained the primary.
The wrestling and grappling of Johns gained out within the subsequent two rounds. Johns was in a position to get Jackson down within the second and work for a triangle choke. Within the third, Johns took Jackson down twice and at one level cinched in a good guillotine. Jackson escaped, however the third spherical — just like the second — was clear for Johns.
Johns, 28, has now gained two straight after dropping two in a row. The 28-year-old Welshman has gained 4 of his six UFC bouts and appears to be headed again towards a rise in competitors stage. Jackson, a 28-year-old Wisconsin native, had a three-fight profitable streak snapped.
Amir Albazi (13-1, 1-Zero UFC) defeats Malcolm Gordon (12-4, 0-1) by first-round triangle choke
Amir Albazi stops Malcolm Gordon after submitting him with a triangle choke in Spherical 1.
Albazi confirmed the tighter, extra correct placing early on, however he actually separated himself as soon as this combat between two 125-pounders making their UFC debuts hit the canvas.
Albazi, a 26-year-old preventing out of London, threatened Gordon from prime place after getting the takedown halfway by means of Spherical 1, working his method to full mount with simply over a minute to go. When Gordon reversed him and obtained on prime, Albazi instantly locked in a triangle choke and elicited the tapout at 4:42. It was the primary triangle submission of 2020.
Good triangle! Slick sub #ufcfightisland2
— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) July 18, 2020
Gordon got here into his debut using a four-fight profitable streak — all finishes, together with three submissions. He is 30 and fights out of Toronto.
This was the primary of three males’s flyweight bouts on the cardboard, together with the championship fundamental occasion.
“The victory felt wonderful, precisely what I have been engaged on,” Albazi mentioned. “It went precisely to plan, plan was to face up a bit, really feel him out, take him down and at last put him to sleep with a choke maintain or a submission. I have been coaching jiu-jitsu for the reason that age of 14, each again residence in Sweden and in London Shoot Fighters in London, so I really feel very snug on the bottom.”
Watch this combat on ESPN+.
Light-weight: Arman Tsarukyan (15-2, 2-1 UFC) defeats Davi Ramos (10-4, 4-Three UFC) by unanimous resolution
This felt like a coming-out social gathering for Tsarukyan. Whereas the Armenian wrestler seemed spectacular in his earlier two UFC fights, Tsarukyan actually put all of it collectively in a unanimous resolution (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) win over the very expert and powerful Ramos.
Tsarukyan’s boxing was sharp, his wrestling was glorious as ordinary and he stayed out of hassle your entire time on the bottom towards Ramos, a harmful Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace.
I knew Arman was a beast when he went to a call with Islam. Straight beast 🙌🏽 #UFCFightIsland2
— Tatiana Suarez (@tatianaufc) July 18, 2020
Tsarukyan was in a position to take Ramos down within the first spherical, which some may need thought was a dangerous resolution given Ramos’ prowess on the bottom. It went wonderful for Tsarukyan, who landed ground-and-pound. Tsarukyan’s various placing took over within the second spherical. With Ramos searching for one large proper hand, Tsarukyan threw nice punching combos — one in all which briefly wobbled Ramos — and kicks. By the third, Ramos was bleeding from a number of cuts on his face. Ramos was pushing the tempo, searching for a end. However Tsarukyan was too expert and technical together with his countering and combos.
Tsarukyan, 23, has gained two straight since dropping his UFC debut towards Islam Makhachev in April 2019. The Russia resident has cemented himself as the most effective prospects within the stacked UFC light-weight division. Ramos, a 33-year-old Brazilian, has dropped two straight following a four-fight profitable streak.
“This was a terrific combat for me as a result of Davi Ramos is a really robust opponent,” Tsarukyan mentioned. “He is without doubt one of the stronger grapplers on this planet. Subsequent combat, I wish to combat with top-15, top-10 guys, possibly Al Iaquinta as a result of he’s a really robust man and he fought with Khabib Nurmagomedov. I wish to combat with him as a result of it is a good combat for me. I am a really younger fighter. Daily I’ll get higher and higher. I can destroy my entire division.”
Watch this combat on ESPN+.
Heavyweight: Serghei Spivac (11-2, 2-2 UFC) defeats Carlos Felipe (8-1, 0-1 UFC) by majority resolution
Serghei Spivac unleashes a barrage of punches on Carlos Felipe and exchanges a confrontation after the official resolution.
Spivac’s dominant Spherical Three secured the victory within the battle of 25-year-old heavyweights.
All three judges scored the ultimate spherical 10-Eight after Spivak took down Felipe within the opening seconds and stored him on the canvas for virtually everything of the 5 minutes. And he did not simply maintain the place; the Moldovan punished his opponent with onerous punches and elbows. Felipe was exhausted, rendering him all however defenseless.
Two judges scored the bout 29-27, whereas the third had it 28-28, indicating that he had awarded the primary two rounds to Felipe.
That in itself is puzzling, as a result of whereas neither man distinguished himself within the first 10 minutes, Spivac was way more correct together with his punches and confirmed extra poise general.
Felipe, making his UFC debut as an undefeated fighter, confirmed off a black belt in head shaking and never far more. Each time Spivac landed, Felipe shook his head. Which is to say: Felipe shook his head rather a lot in Spherical 1, as he absorbed a number of straight punches whereas he was winging looping proper palms towards Spivac, who dodged or blocked most of them.
Felipe did have some success within the second spherical, however aside from bravado, the large Brazilian didn’t present a lot.
“I feel that I wasn’t nice on this combat as a result of I by no means had a correct camp due to the COVID scenario,” Spivac mentioned. “I used to be mad at my opponent due to his methods on the weigh-ins and in the course of the combat.
“My daughter was born proper earlier than the combat so I did not sleep effectively due to that, and I wish to dedicate the victory to my spouse and daughter.”
Watch this combat on ESPN+.
Nonetheless to come back:
Males’s flyweight championship: Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1, 7-1 UFC, -220) vs. Joseph Benavidez (28-6, 15-Four UFC, +185)
Middleweight: Jack Hermansson (20-5, 7-Three UFC, -110) vs. Kelvin Gastelum (16-5 1 NC, 10-5 1 NC, -110)
Light-weight: Marc Diakiese (14-3, 5-Three UFC, -160) vs. Rafael Fiziev (7-1, 1-1 UFC, +140)
Girls’s flyweight: Ariane Lipski (12-5, 1-2 UFC, -120) vs. Luana Carolina (6-1, 1-Zero UFC, +100)
Males’s flyweight: Alexandre Pantoja (22-4, 6-2 UFC, -190) vs. Askar Askarov (11-0-1, 1-0-1+170)
more recommended stories
NBA homeowners’ present monetary turmoil portends future payroll issues
As they face the truth of.
The easiest of the NBA’s bubble actions
The NBA unveiled its bubble-like campus.
NBA Energy Rankings – Greatest
After a four-and-a-half-month hiatus, the NBA.
How NHL video games will look and sound throughout the restart
Steve Mayer was sitting in the.