UFC Fight Island: Figueiredo batters Benavidez to clinch flyweight title in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, Benavidez, Figueiredo

Abu Dhabi - This is Benavidez's first loss via submission and the 35-year-old American's 15-year wait for a title continues.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 19 Jul 2020, 6:58 AM

Last updated: Sun 19 Jul 2020, 10:20 PM

Deiveson Figueiredo became the new UFC flyweight champion with a dominant victory by submission over Joseph Benavidez in the UFC Fight Island main card event in Abu Dhabi on Sunday

In a rematch of the February title bout, Figueiredo, the Brazilian, was vicious from the bell at Flash Forum. In the opening minute, he floored Benavidez with a right hook, then deployed multiple submission moves. Benavidez showed great mental strength to find a way out. But Figueiredo again dropped Benavidez on the mat with another hook and tightened the choke. Benavidez was motionless and the referee called the match in favour of Figueiredo after four minutes and 48 seconds of the first round.

And with this rear naked choke result, the 32-year-old Brazilian extends his MMA record to 19-1. This is Benavidez's first loss via submission and the 35-year-old American's 15-year wait for a title continues. After the fight, Figueiredo was on his knees before Benavidez as a gesture of respect for the veteran.
"I feel really good. I worked very hard for this. I knew my time would come. I will continue to defend this belt and be an active champion," Figueiredo said.
"I am from Marajo Island in north of Brazil Soure in Amazon region and used to growing up with wild animals. So I am ferocious guy inside the octagon. Now I am taking the belt back to my people. I wanted to finish this fight in the first round and also put a first submission loss on his record, and that's exactly what I have done."
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 rattled Benavidez then.

Hermansson stuns Gastelum
In the co-main event, middleweight No. 6 Jack Hermansson took just 1 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 'the Joker' has extended his record to 21-5, including 17 finishes. He is looking forward to fighting the winner of next week's main card: Robert Whittaker versus Darren Till.
"Everything I am doing in my life is to become the best in the world. And when you win a fight there is no feeling like that. I thought he would disengage and stand up, but he engaged and I tried to be aggressive," Hermansson said.

Solid Fiziev thrashes Diakiese
Rafael Fiziev outclassed Marc Diakiese with a top-notch display of speed and technique in lightweight bout. Fiziev threw 34 body strikes and 10 leg kicks on Diakiese to make it two wins in a row and 8-1 overall.
"I thank everyone for this opportunity. I will keep fighting," Fiziev said after a powerful win by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 and 29-28). Fiziev also grabbed the Fight of the Night bonus.

Ruthless Lipski punishes Carolina
Ariane Lipski made short work of fellow Brazilian Luana Carolina in the women's flyweight fight. The 'Queen of Violence' ended Carolina's six-fight win streak with a knee-bar submission. At 1 minute, 28 seconds, the first-round win was the second fastest finish in UFC flyweight history. It was Lipski's seventh first-round finish.
"It feels great. She was trying to take my neck but I pushed her leg and it worked. I actually wanted to knock her out. I love to get back to the octagon as soon as possible. I have more to show and improve."

Askarov extends unbeaten record
In a tight flyweight encounter, No. 7 Askar Askarov triumphed over fourth-ranked Alexandre Pantoja.
The 27-year-old Russian extended his unbeaten record to 12 wins with a unanimous 29-28 verdict from the judges.


Dolidze dazzles on debut
Debutant Roman Dolidze demolished Khadis Ibragimov with a knockout kick in the light heavyweight division clash. The 32-year-old Georgia finished the Russian in 4 minutes, 15 seconds of the first round.
"I am happy. He was a tough opponent. I just want to continue fighting," Dolidze said.  

Dawson defeats Narimani
American Grant Dawson with a good array of strikes beat Englishman Nad Narimani in the catchweight fight. Dawson secured a unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27 and 29-27).
"I wanted to get better in this fight. I am a full mixed martial artist and I showed that," said Dawson.

Alvarez impresses against Duffy
Spaniard Joel Alvarez sets up a guillotine lock over Irish Joseph Duffy to win the lightweight match in the first round. Alvarez took his 15th MMA submission result to make it 17-2 win-loss record. 
"There's nothing more satisfactory than a win here," Alvarez said after 2 minutes 25 seconds performance.

Johns ends Jackson's streak
Welshman Brett Johns landed eight takedowns and controlled American Montel Jackson to bag a unanimous 29-28 verdict in the bantamweight fight. Johns ended Jackson's three-fight win streak.
"I could have given a lot more than this. His grip strength caused a lot of problems for me. It is what it is. I am going home a happy man," Johns said.  

Albazi makes Gordon tap out
In the fight of newcomers, Iraqi Amir Albazi deployed a triangle choke to make Canadian Malcolm Gordon tap out inside the first round of the bantamweight bout.
"I have been waiting for this opportunity since I was 14. The ground is my ocean. I want to get back as soon as possible," Albazi said after winning in 4 minutes and 42 seconds.

Tsarukyan destroys Ramos
After a slow start, Arman Tsarukyan mixed power punches, wrestling skills and head kicks to pin an experienced Davi Ramos.
The Russian, 23, won the lightweight bout via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27 and 29-28).

Spivak prevails over Felipe
Maldovan fighter Sergey Spivak defeated Brazilian debutant Carlos Felipe in the heavyweight division.
After two close rounds, Spivak dominated the decider to win via majority decision (28-28, 29-27and 29-27).

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