This time around, the winner got the trophy.
Deiveson Figueiredo defeated Joseph Benavidez with a second-round TKO on Feb. 29 in a match expected to fill the vacant flyweight title. But the Brazilian competitor missed weight the previous day, which left the belt vacant.
The duo rematched Saturday in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 30, and this time, Figueiredo will go home with the gold.
One day after making weight with no issues, Figueiredo (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) beat Benavidez (28-7 MMA, 15-5 UFC) in an even more impressive fashion than he did the first time around. Figueiredo dominated the fight from the outset before earning a technical submission with a rear-naked choke at 4:48 of the opening round to claim the championship at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
The victory makes Figueiredo the third men’s 125-pound titleholder in UFC history, following Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo, the latter of whom vacated the belt.
“I feel really good. I worked really hard for this,” Figueiredo said through a translator duding his post-fight interview. “I knew my time would come, and this is my time. I am going to be an active champion.”
Figueiredo nearly ended things as soon as the fight began when he dropped Benavidez with a wicked right hook to the temple. Benavidez, if nothing else, showed tremendous heart in fending off an inevitable defeat. He withstood the ensuing flurry on the mat, then broke free of a tight guillotine choke and a nearly as tight rear-naked choke.
But while Benavidez got back to his feet, he never got back into the fight. Two more times in the round, Figueiredo dropped Benavidez. The final time, Figueiredo locked in one of the nastiest rear-naked chokes you’ll ever see, and Benavidez went out rather than tap out for what goes into the books as the first submission loss of his career.
Figueiredo’s third straight victory is his 16th career finish. Benavidez lost his second straight fight. Of his seven career losses, five were in fights for major championships – four in the UFC and one in the WEC.
The vacant flyweight title bout was the UFC on ESPN+ 30 main event at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It streamed on ESPN+.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 13 results include:
- Deiveson Figueiredo def. Joseph Benavidez via technical submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 4:48
- Jack Hermansson def. Kelvin Gastelum via submission (heel hook) – Round 1, 1:18
- Rafael Fiziev def. Marc Diakiese via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ariane Lipski def. Luana Carolina via submission (kneebar) – Round 1, 1:28
- Askar Askarov def. Alexandre Pantoja via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Roman Dolidze def. Khadis Ibragimov via TKO (knee, punches) – Round 1, 4:15
- Grant Dawson def. Nad Narimani via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)
- Joel Alvarez def. Joe Duffy via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 2:25
- Brett Johns def. Montel Jackson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Amir Albazi def. Malcolm Gordon via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:42
- Arman Tsarukyan def. Davi Ramos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Serghei Spivac def. Carlos Felipe via majority decision (28-28, 29-27, 29-27)
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-on-espn-plus-30-deiveson-figueiredo-chokes-out-joseph-benavidez-flyweight-title/