Flyweight contender Deiveson Figueiredo did it once and believes he will be able to do it again on Saturday night. After missing weight in his first encounter against Joseph Benavidez prevented him from becoming the vacant division’s new champion, ‘Deus da Guerra’ wants to show the world he can knock out his opponent just the same in the rematch, and officially win the belt.
In an interview with Combate, Figueiredo points out how he noticed Benavidez does not respond well to being struck in the face in their first fight. With that in mind, Deiveson feels like there is a clear path for his win in Abu Dhabi. All he needs to do is the same thing he did the first time and wait for Joseph to lose his composure again.
“Benavidez has plenty of flaws, he can’t attack while walking backward,” Figueiredo said. “I’m going to pressure him with those flaws in mind. I will knock out him like the first time. He will try a stick and move strategy, but that won’t work. I’ll chase him until I catch him. I don’t know until when he will try to run. I’m training for 10 rounds, I will hunt him until I knock him out.”
“He’s afraid of getting hit in the face, it’s plain to see,” Deiveson continued. “The clash of heads in the first fight came from him, he was the one attacking. When he felt that blood flowing, he got so nervous he started brushing his hand against his face. He lost his focus on the fight for a few seconds. That’s when I saw the opening to punch him and knock him out. I’m an aggressive guy. My style is lethal. All Benavidez needs to do is not use his head in the next fight and I can show everyone I can win without that.”
Although Figueiredo soundly defeated Benavidez via knockout in their first encounter, back in February, he is aware that it was not a perfect outing. Deiveson did manage to beat Joseph in the second round, but not after being hit more times than expected. For the rematch, Deus da Guerra promises to have the mistake fixed.
“I was confident when I fought him the first time and I’m bringing this confidence with me for the second, because I know his game. I can’t underestimate him, though, and I don’t do that in any fight. I always train to fight against the best. Since I already know his game, I trained to correct the strikes I was missing, the ones I was supposed to use against him in the first fight.”
“He was hitting me a lot in the first fight, but you can be sure that won’t happen in the second,” Figueiredo said. “I corrected all my mistakes and I’m ready to catch him. I’m very fierce when I’m attacking. When a tiger is trying to pounce on a pray, it never scares the pray. It will approach it patiently and jump on the perfect opportunity. I’m that guy. He was hitting me, but I waited for the perfect time for my hand to touch him with full power. There it was, he was knocked out in the second round.”
Currently on three-fight win streak, Deiveson Figueiredo (18-1) defeated both Tim Elliott and Alexandre Pantoja before knocking out Benavidez in his last outing. The 32-year-old’s sole loss happened in March 2019, when he dropped a unanimous decision to Jussier Formiga.
Now, Deiveson Figueiredo is expected to rematch Joseph Benavidez for the UFC’s vacant flyweight title at UFC Fight Night 172’s main event. The card will take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on July 18.