This weekend’s main event sees the rematch between top ranked UFC flyweights Deiveson “Deus da Guerra” Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez for the vacant UFC® flyweight title. Whilst Figueiredo secured victory when the pair met back in February, he was unable to claim the belt after weighing in over the 125lb limit. “Dues Da Guerra”, translating to “God of War”, will be hoping for the same outcome this time around and victory would improve his professional record to 18-1.
Benavidez, however, has always been one of the premier talents in the flyweight division and the 35-year-old American boasts an impressive record, having won nine of his last 11 fights. Benavidez has vowed to avenge his defeat from the first match up and whilst Figueiredo will again be looking to use his finishing ability to capitalise, Benavidez’ southpaw stance and imposing wrestling style should ensure an incredible rematch in this grudge match.
In the co-main event, Jack Hermansson faces Kelvin Gastelum in a pivotal matchup in the middleweight division. Hermansson currently holds a 20-5 professional record and has won four of his last five matchups inside the Octagon. “The Joker” seemed to be on the verge of securing a title shot last year and the Swede will hope that a convincing victory here will put his name back in those conversations.
Gastelum, however, provides a stern test and will also be searching for a victory to bolster his title shot ambitions. Like Hermansson, Gastelum holds victories over some impressive UFC middleweights and his interim title bout against current champion Israel Adesanya in 2019 won ‘Fight of the Year’ honours. An accomplished striker with a wrestling background, it will be interesting to see how Gastelum fares against Hermansson’s rounded grappling game.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: FIGUEIREDO vs. BENVIDEZ 2 also features a number of homegrown talents in action. On the main card, English lightweight Marc Diakiese makes his return to the Octagon against Kyrgyzstani contender Rafael Fiziev. “Bonecrusher” comes into this one a two-fight win streak and his dangerous striking game should be mirrored by his opponent, who also prefers keeping the action on the feet.
Irish lightweight Joe Duffy, who was defeated by Diakiese in his last contest, features on the prelims against Spaniard Joel Alvarez. Duffy, who famously holds a win over Conor McGregor from the early part of their careers, should enter the bout as a firm favourite and will look to get back on track in a loaded lightweight division with a win here.
Welsh bantamweight Brett Johns will look to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Jack Shore, who secured victory on Wednesday evening, with a victory over Montel Jackson. Johns, who secured a ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus after a 17-month layoff back in January, will be hoping to build on that success with a victory over a tough opponent.
Deiveson “Deus da Guerra” Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez
Jack “The Joker” Hermansson vs. Kelvin Gastelum
Marc “Bonecrusher” Diakiese vs. Rafael “Ataman” Fiziev
Ariane “Queen of Violence” Lipski vs. Luana “Dread” Carolina
Alexandre “The Cannibal” Pantoja vs. Askar “Bullet” Askarov
Roman Dolidze vs. Khadis Ibragimov
Grant “KGD” Dawson vs. Nad “Smiler” Narimani
Joe “Irish” Duffy vs. Joel “El Fenomeno” Alvarez
Brett “The Pikey” Johns vs. Montel “Quik” Jackson
Malcolm “X” Gordon vs. Amir “The Prince” Albazi
Davi “Tasmanian Devil” Ramos vs. Arman “Ahalkalakets” Tsarukyan
Carlos “Boi” Felipe vs. Serghei “Polar Bear” Spivac