Another super card by the UFC and another new champion as Deiveson Figueiredo knocked out Joseph Benavidez once again to become the new Flyweight king.
After his KO win in their first fight saw controversy flow following a clash of heads after he had initially missed weight for the fight, many thought Benavidez would finally end his losing run in title fights against Figueiredo. Those who thought that were made to look foolish though as the Brazilian dropped Benavidez three times in the first round before choking him unconscious.
The pure power of the new champ was there for all to see and it’s hard to see a flyweight in the division who is likely to be able to withstand a barrage of punishment from the man.
Earlier in the night, Alexandre Pantoja and Askar Askarov took each other on in what many had labelled as a title eliminator, believing the winner should get the next shot at the throne. It was a close fight, with plenty of submission attempts, takedowns, strikes and scrambles. But it was the Russian who came out victorious with a unanimous decision.
His style could be a little more problematic to Figueiredo than Pantoja or Benavidez, with his strong takedowns and ground control a constant. He also has a solid chin and isn’t the worst with his hands. It’s the conditioning however that would likely be his greatest asset. We saw in the Pantoja fight that Askarov will just keep coming. Relentless in his approach, he attempted FIFTEEN takedowns in the three rounds and still looked as fresh as a daisy once the final klaxon went.
If he can close the distance on Figueiredo and secure a takedown, he could just dominate with a ground and pound strategy. Fig will of course use his explosive power as a deterrent and as he showed in his title fight, he’s no slouch on the mat either. A BJJ black-belt, he would likely throw up submissions much like Pantoja did in an effort to escape.
Overall I think Figueiredo would be too powerful if that fight happened, which begs the question who could possibly dethrone him? Brandon Moreno is ranked #3 but he lost to Pantoja and drew with Askarov. Alex Perez is on a hot-streak too but he was KO’d by Benavidez, so I can’t imagine he’d fair better against the striking of Figueiredo.
The UFC has a violent star on their hands in Deiveseon Figueiredo and I wouldn’t be surprised if in 12 months time, after a couple of successful defences each we’re talking about a super-fight between himself and whoever the 135lbs champion is at the time.