UFC Fight Night Odds: Figueiredo Favored to Win Again in Rematch vs. Benavidez

Posted on: July 18, 2020, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: July 20, 2020, 09:56h.

Deiveson Figueiredo comes in as the favorite to win the UFC flyweight championship on Saturday, as he takes on Joseph Benavidez on Fight Island for the title vacated by Henry Cejudo earlier this year.

Deiveson Figueiredo Joseph Benavidez
Deiveson Figueiredo (left) and Joseph Benavidez (right) fight in their first meeting on Feb. 29, 2020, at UFC Fight Night 169 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Image: Peter Casey/USA Today Sports)

Figueiredo defeated Benavidez in their first matchup in February, but failed to make weight before the fight, meaning he was ineligible to win the flyweight title.

That initial fight ended early, with Figueiredo (18-1) winning by TKO a minute and 54 seconds into the second round.

William Hill lists Figueiredo as a -220 to win the rematch as well, with Benavidez fetching +180 odds as the underdog

Figueiredo Won’t Overlook Benavidez

Figueiredo won the first fight after a controversial clash of heads just moments before he put away Benavidez. Figueiredo knows the danger that Benavidez poses, and is hungry to show he can beat his illustrious opponent a second time.

Benavidez is truly dangerous and cannot be underestimated,” Figueiredo told MMA Junkie. “We’ve mapped out his game. He’s not too versatile, and always brings the same game in every fight. We’re confident that he’ll try a new strategy against me for July 18, but we’re getting ready with that in mind.”

On the other side, Benavidez (28-6) stands ready to take the second meeting against Figueiredo, who came up heavy at the weigh-in and thus could not take the flyweight title when he won back in February. Benavidez sees Figueiredo as a “villain” after the first fight, and his mind is set on revenge in the rematch.

“It just makes me actually want to hurt him,” Benavidez told ESPN. “So yeah, that is a different feeling towards this fight. Typically I don’t have that toward an opponent. I’m like, hey if I win, I win. If I hurt him, obviously that’s what we’re trained to do. But for this one, that’s the difference.”

Recognition in Middleweight Division

Kelvin Gastelum (15-5) comes in as a slight favorite against Jack Hermansson (20-5) in the co-main event. The two middleweights both sit on the fringes of the title picture, with the winner likely to get serious consideration for a title shot, while the loser falls into the lower ranks of numbered contenders.

William Hill sees the fight as a pure toss-up, with Hermansson and Gastelum listed at -1110 to win the bout. Gastelum enters with a reputation as a bit of a fringe contender and a gatekeeper, while Hermansson is on his way up, needing a signature win to put him among the true candidates for a championship run.

I’m expecting the best Kelvin,” Hermansson told reporters on Thursday. “His performance against Adesanya, even though he lost, was a great one, and I think that’s the Kelvin that I’m going to face on Saturday.”

Gastelum remembers how close he came to once winning the UFC middleweight title, and wants to get back into that picture with a win over Hermansson.

“I’m actually in a really good place, mentally and physically, which really wasn’t the case for my last two fights,” Gastelum told MMA Fighting. “Now I’m in a good place mentally, physically. I feel really good coming into this fight. I battled [my demons], I conquered them, and here I am, ready to go.”