Flyweight contender Joseph Benavidez was supposed to fight Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 233 on January 26th, but that event no longer exists, and neither does his matchup with the rising Brazilian star.
Newsday revealed that Benavidez will now take on Dustin Ortiz at UFC Brooklyn in January. The main event that night is a flyweight title bout between Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw, and Benavidez had already been pegged as a backup prior to the fight booking. Figueiredo was unable to fight on the Brooklyn card, as apparently he wasn’t ready for that date.
Benavidez (26-5) bounced back from a split decision loss to Sergio Pettis by TKOing prospect Alex Perez at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale. He’s twice challenged for the flyweight belt, losing both times to Demetrious Johnson. Only DJ and Pettis have ever bested him at 125 lbs.
Ortiz (19-7) has quietly compiled three straight wins, including a stunning KO win over Matheus Nicolau at UFC on FOX 30 in July. He also KO’d Hector Sandoval and won a decision over Alexandre Pantoja during his winning streak. Ortiz fought Benavidez four years ago, losing a shutout unanimous decision.
UFC on ESPN+: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw takes place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, January 19th.