“God of War” did it again. This time, in even more dominant fashion than the first fight.
Deiveson Figueiredo made weight Friday to earn eligibility for the UFC Flyweight Championship. In his first fight with opponent Joseph Benavidez back in February, Figueiredo missed weight and was ineligible to win the belt. However, he would knock out Benavidez in the second round to score the victory.
The two would meet up once again Saturday evening and Figueiredo put on a monstrous performance. He would drop Benavidez three times in the first round. It was not even a competitive fight. Benavidez did his best to show heart and fight back but Figueiredo proved to be too much for the veteran as Figueiredo would sink in a rear-naked choke just before the bell to cap off the night.
Figueiredo became the third UFC Flyweight champion in history, succeeding Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo. Figueiredo improves to 19-1 in his career and is currently on a four-fight win streak.
For Benavidez, the title runs are likely over for the 35-year-old as he is now 0-4 in title fights. Saturday night was the third time he has been finished in a title fight. Benavidez’s record falls to 28-7.
It was a night of first-round finishes on the main card as middleweight Jack Hermansson and flyweight Ariane Lipski scored submission wins.
Hermansson took on former title challenger Kelvin Gastelum in a pivotal matchup for the middleweight division. “The Joker” did not come to play games as he would sink in a heel hook, while Gastelum was attempting to stand up, to force a tap.
Hermansson bounces back from a TKO loss to Jared Cannonier last September and puts his name in the title picture.
Gastelum will have to go back to the drawing board as he has now lost three fights in a row.
Lipski started off her UFC run poorly as she lost her first two fights to Joanne Calderwood and Molly McCann respectively. Saturday night, she would have her most impressive performance as she sunk in a kneebar to score the quick victory over Luana Carolina. Lipski improved her record to 13-5 and is currently on a two-fight winning streak.
The UFC will return next Saturday, which is headlined by a middleweight title eliminator between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till.