Deiveson Figueiredo completely destroyed Joseph Benavidez in one round to win the vacant UFC flyweight championship at UFC Fight Island 2 in Abu Dhabi.
UFC Fight Island 2 on Saturday night was a redemption story. The question was, whose redemption would it be?
On the one hand, you had Deiveson Figueiredo. Whether you believed he was the champion without the belt, he had certainly defeated Joseph Benavidez in their original meeting at UFC Norfolk earlier this year. Of course, there were asterisks. No belt, due to missing weight. A clash of heads that seemed to rock his opponent before the finish.
He was looking to come away with a clean win Saturday night, and silence his doubts. Joseph Benavidez, meanwhile, was looking for redemption of his own. After seeing title shot after title shot in the WEC and UFC, only to come up empty handed, Saturday was likely his last shot at gold.
All the marbles, and the UFC’s vacant flyweight title, were on the line. Figueiredo started the first round off with a front kick to the body, but Benavidez fired back a pair of leg kicks in response. A huge right hook from Figueiredo dropped Benavidez immediately and Figueiredo pounced on him for the ground-and-pound. After a huge elbow, Figueiredo took the back and worked for the rear-naked choke. Benavidez was able to escape from two different attempts before Figueiredo got one right under the neck. Benavidez miraculously escaped that one as well and got back to his feet with Figueiredo in the back clinch.
Benavidez separates from the clinch and they’re striking again. They exchanged some shots inside the clinch, before Figueiredo dropped Benavidez with a clean uppercut. Another huge overhand from Figueiredo dropped Benavidez, and Figueiredo gets full mount before unleashing some nasty ground-and-pound. A deep rear-naked choke from Figueiredo and Benavidez passes out. That’s it.
— UFC (@ufc) July 19, 2020
A stunning victory by Figueiredo, and a heartbreaking defeat for Benavidez. But it was the Brazilian who found his redemption on Saturday.
Official Result: Deiveson Figueiredo def. Joseph Benavidez via R1 submission (rear-naked choke, 4:48)