'Knockout artist' Figueiredo puts on a fantastic show

Deiveson Figueiredo celebrates after defeating Joseph Benavidez in their UFC flyweight championship bout. (Reuters)
Deiveson Figueiredo celebrates after defeating Joseph Benavidez in their UFC flyweight championship bout. (Reuters)

Abu Dhabi - Figueiredo warned his future challengers to be prepared for his fury

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 19 Jul 2020, 10:54 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Jul 2020, 1:08 AM

Deiveson Figueiredo unleashed violent force that put Joseph Benavidez to sleep during the UFC Fight Island's vacant flyweight title rematch in Abu Dhabi.
In the Fight Night main event, the Brazilian's brutality inside the steel cage lasted four minutes, 48 seconds and was filled with powerful hooks, takedowns, knockout punches, massive elbows and submission moves.
Benavidez showed great mental strength and heart to survive each attempt, but when Figueiredo deployed a rear-naked choke, the American veteran turned motionless.

The 35-year-old was submitted for the first time in his career. And the referee called the contest in favour of Figueiredo - the new undisputed flyweight champion.
"I am from Marajo Island in the north of Brazil, in the Amazon region. I am used to growing up with all the wild animals. I think I got some of that from them. So I am a ferocious guy inside the octagon," Figueiredo said.
"After the first knockdown I had to capitalise on it and keep going, dominate him. He was able to get out of some positions on the ground. I got through another knock down and finished him.
"Now I am taking the belt back to my people. I wanted to finish this fight in the first round and put a first submission loss on his record, and that's what I have done," he said after a spine-chilling title bout, which made him the first Brazilian champion at Fight Island.
The rematch happened after the controversial February bout that Figueiredo won, but couldn't take the belt as he had missed weights. And there was an accidental head butt, which had rattled Benavidez.
However on Sunday there were no doubts in anyone's mind.
And UFC president Dana White was bowled over by the 'Performance of the Night'.
"It was pure violence. No controversy in this one. He did what he said he will do against the No. 2 ranked guy in the world. He looked good doing it," White said as he left for the US.
"My birthday is coming up."
In the next few days White will be making schedules for the next few months.
Figueiredo now holds a 19-1 MMA record but said he never imagined becoming a world champion - a reason for his entry into Flash Forum with the 'Mission: Impossible' theme song.
"For me this whole thing was a mission impossible. I created my own gym with my brother. We got coaches who I felt were intelligent enough to help. I don't train at a world-class gym but it's in my backyard," he said.
Figueiredo warned his future challengers to be prepared for his fury.
"I am a knockout artist. I need to train very hard. I am the guy everyone is looking to beat. I will be a champion who will hold this belt for a while."
Meanwhile in the co-main event, middleweight No. 6 Jack Hermansson took just one minute, 18 seconds to submit challenger and No. 7 Kelvin Gastelum.
Hermansson got a body lock, took Gastelum down and caught Gastelum for heel hook lock.
Hermansson is looking forward to fighting the winner of next week's Fight Night's main card: Robert Whittaker versus Darren Till.
Among others, Ariane Lipski's second fastest finish in UFC flyweight history earned her 'Performance of the Night' bonus. And Rafael Fiziev grabbed 'Fight of the Night' bonus.

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