The UFC had hoped to walk out of UFC Norfolk with a couple major problems solved. And while they likely will find a new title challenger for Amanda Nunes out of the night’s action, the state of the flyweight division remains decidedly unsettled.
The main event bout between Deiveson Figueiredo and Joseph Benavidez was supposed to award the belt that Henry Cejudo had vacated to the victor. Only, Figueiredo missed weight. Making him ineligible to win the title, even as he obliterated Benavidez with a right hand midway through round 2. So, now what does the UFC do? Do they close the division? Does Cejudo drop back down to reassert his reign? It sounds like Figueiredo’s team has another option on the table: an instant rematch for Joe-B.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Figueiredo’s manager Wallid Ismail told the outlet that the UFC may be floating the idea of an instant rematch. And if that’s the direction the promotion wants to go, it sounds like the ‘God of War’ would be happy to oblige.
“Joseph Benavidez was a warrior for accepting to fight him one kilo overweight and deserves the rematch,” Ismail said. “We like the guy, but on fight week it’s war, man. Since the UFC isn’t satisfied and wants another fight, it’s all good, the war continues.”
“We just wanna know when Benavidez wants to fight,” Ismail added, suggesting a yet to be announced July event, where he believes Paulo Costa will be competing for the middleweight title. “But, please, don’t take too long.”
It doesn’t necessarily feel like a great option after such a definitive result in their first bout. But, given a lack of a clear title contender at the moment, if the UFC is actually going to try and keep their 125 lb weight class going, then Benavidez vs. Figueiredo 2 might just be the quickest, best fight the UFC can book.