UFC Norfolk: Benavidez vs. Figueiredo - Preview of the Main Fight

The world's most famous octagon will be assembled for the second time this Saturday at the Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. The gym at Old Dominion University will host UFC Norfolk , headed by the dispute for the fly belt, which Henry Cejudo left vacant to devote himself to the bantamweight.

Perhaps the best fighter in history who has never won a belt, Joseph Benavidez will have the third chance for the crown of the lightest division among men in the UFC. To stop him, the Paraense Deiveson Figueiredo , who took the place of the rival in Team Alpha Male after Benavidez left for the UFC Performance Institute. However, only Benavidez can win the belt, since the Brazilian did not hit the weight. If the “God of War” wins, the belt will remain unowned.

Another intriguing duel unfolds in the light heavyweight division between Russian Magomed Ankalaev and Moldovan Ion Cutelaba . The MMA Brasil previews also cover the good duels between Brendan Allen and Tom Breese for the middleweight category and, finally, Marcin Tybura and Sergey Spivak for the heavyweight category.


The devastation promoted by Demetrious Johnson in the flyweight left Benavidez (28-5 in MMA, 14-3 in the UFC) in a strange situation. For two bad performances, it was predicted that the American would never again reach a belt dispute. However, the cold analysis of the numbers shows only one defeat in the ten matches played by Benavidez since the second loss to Johnson. He recovered from the zebra against Sergio Pettis with three straight wins, two by knockout, including one over Jussier Formiga, the current number two in the division.

Revealed by Urijah Faber almost 13 years ago, Joe-Jitsu perfectly incorporated the Team Alpha Male game, both pre and post-Duane Ludwig. The wrestling , the enormous skill in scramblesand guillotine wit remain the safe haven of his game, while muay thai was developed with the former coach to the point of making him confident to face any opponent in the division. His combined attacks under pressure allow Benavidez to hide decisive blows until the last moment. The defeat to Pettis and the controversial victory against Cejudo showed Benavidez with some problems with speed and movement. However, the fighter managed to reorganize himself, even though none of the last three defeated opponents had taken the level of danger that this Saturday's rival will deliver.

Figueiredo's climb (17-1 in MMA, 6-1 in the UFC) until the title fight took place at the expense of hyper aggressive fights and very fun for the public. Apart from the only defeat, when Formiga managed to stop him, Deiveson left behind two ex-challengers, two prospects and a consolidated top 5. There were two victories by knockout and one by submission on the path that made clear the evolution process of the marajoara.

Revealed at 16 by Iuri Marajó, Deiveson developed an explosive and violent style, consolidated on an athleticism and power rare among the little ones. Integrated for almost two years with Team Alpha Male, a former Benavidez team, the Brazilian managed to channel his focus, wasting much less blows - that is, preserving energy -, greatly improving his defensive level and, in addition, making the counterattack even more dangerous. If before he was adept at changing leather as if there was no tomorrow, today the "God of War" has learned to "see into the hurricane". This skill is invaluable for someone who attacks head and body at high speed and applies brutal drops. On the ground, he develops a suffocating ground and pound .

Analyzing the qualities of both fighters, a scenario is quite clear: Benavidez is the most technical fighter with the most weapons to achieve victory. In addition to the clear path through wrestling , the veteran has the quality to beat the Brazilian even in the standing fight, through movement and the volume of strokes. However, Joe Jitsu is already a war veteran, with more than 30 fights on his back, and showed a certain physical decline in the loss to Sergio Pettis. Deiveson has the striking and, mainly, the power to hit the American and win an interruption, either by knockout or submission. Still, we will rely on Joseph Benavidez's highest technical quality and gas, withstanding the pressure in the first rounds and overcoming a tired and physically worn Deiveson.

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